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2018

Evaluations of Nominations of Cultural


and Mixed Properties
ICOMOS report for the World Heritage Committee
42nd ordinary session, Manama, 24 June - 4 July 2018

WHC-18/42.COM/INF.8B1
UNESCO
World Heritage Convention
World Heritage Committee

2018

Evaluations of Nominations of Cultural


and Mixed Properties
ICOMOS report for the World Heritage Committee
42nd ordinary session, Manama, 24 June - 4 July 2018
Secrétariat ICOMOS International
11, rue du Séminaire de Conflans
94220 Charenton-le-Pont
France
Tel: 33 (0)1 41 94 17 59
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World Heritage List Nominations 2018

I Introduction
ICOMOS analysis of nominations 1
ICOMOS procedure 5
ICOMOS check tool recommendations 9

II Tables
Alphabetical index of the evaluations (by State Party) 11
Nominations by category 13
Geographical spread of nominations 15
Numerical index of the evaluations 17
Technical evaluation mission experts 19

World Heritage List Nominations received by 1st February 2017

III Mixed properties

A Europe – North America

Nomination referred back by previous sessions of the World Heritage Committee


Canada [N/C 1415rev]
Pimachiowin Aki 21

B Latin America – Caribbean

New nomination
Colombia [N/C 1174]
Chiribiquete National Park - “The Maloca of the Jaguar” 36

IV Cultural properties

A Arab States

New nominations
Oman [C 1537]
The Ancient City of Qalhat 47

Saudi Arabia [C 1563]


Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape 56

B Asia – Pacific

New nominations
China [C 1561]
Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton) 68

India [C 1480]
The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai 80
Indonesia [C 1524]
The Age of Trade: The Old Town of Jakarta (formerly Old Batavia) and 4 Outlying Islands
(Onrust, Kelor, Cipir, and Bidadari) 90

Iran [C 1568]
Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region 101

Japan [C 1495]
Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region 113

Republic of Korea [C 1562]


Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea 124

C Europe – North America

New nominations
Belgium / France [C 1567]
Funeral and memorial sites of the First World War (Western Front) 136

Belgium / Netherlands [C 1555]


Colonies of Benevolence 155

Canada [C 1564]
Tr’ondëk–Klondike 168

Czechia [C 1558]
Žatec – the Town of Hops 179

Denmark [C 1557]
Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea 190

France [C 1569]
The Historic Urban Ensemble of Nîmes 202

Germany [C 1553]
The Archaeological Border Landscape of Hedeby and the Danevirke 212

Italy [C 1538]
Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century 222

Italy [C 1571]
Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene 231

Romania [C 1552]
Roșia Montană Mining Landscape 242

Spain [C 1560]
The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara 252

Turkey [C 1572]
Göbekli Tepe 263
World Heritage List Nominations received by 1st February 2018
See Addendum WHC/18/42.COM/INF.8B1.Add, which include minor modifications to boundaries and creations of
buffer zones.

V Mixed properties

A Latin America – Caribbean

Nomination referred back by previous sessions of the World Heritage Committee


Mexico [N/C 1534rev]
Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Mesoamerica

VI Cultural properties

A Africa

Nomination referred back by previous sessions of the World Heritage Committee


Kenya [C 1450rev]
Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site

B Arab States

Nomination referred back by previous sessions of the World Heritage Committee


United Arab Emirates [C 1458rev]
Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchants’ Harbour

C Europe – North America

Nomination referred back by previous sessions of the World Heritage Committee


Germany [C 1470rev]
Naumburg Cathedral
I Introduction

ICOMOS Analysis of nominations

In 2018, ICOMOS was called on to evaluate Certain nominations would benefit if more time were
35 nominations. taken in preparing the nomination, for example to
complete the legal protection process, finalise a
They consisted of: management plan or undertake additional research.

23 new nominations ICOMOS wishes to point out that the Resource


5 referred nominations Manual Preparing World Heritage Nominations, of
7 minor modifications/creations of buffer zone which an electronic version is available on its website
and on the World Heritage Centre website, is at the
The geographical spread is as follows: disposition of States Parties to help them prepare
nomination dossiers. Thanks to the World Heritage
Africa Capacity-Building programme, the manual is
Total: 1 nomination, 1 country available in several languages (Arabic, English,
1 referred French, Portuguese and Spanish).
(1 cultural property)
When evaluating the comparative analysis included
Arab States in nomination dossiers, ICOMOS examines the
Total: 3 nominations, 3 countries methodology used by the State Party and the
2 new nominations relevance of the examples given by using the
1 referred following parameters. Comparisons should be drawn
(3 cultural properties) with properties expressing the same values as the
nominated property and within a defined geo-cultural
Asia-Pacific area. Therefore the values need to be clearly defined
and the geo-cultural framework should be determined
Total: 6 nominations, 6 countries
according to these values. Comparisons should be
6 new nominations
drawn with similar properties already inscribed on the
(6 cultural properties)
World Heritage List and with other examples at
national and international level within the defined
Europe and North America
geo-cultural area.
Total: 23 nominations, 15 countries
14 new nominations
On the basis of the above, ICOMOS indicates
2 referred
whether or not the comparative analysis is complete
7 minor modifications/creations of buffer zone
and whether or not the analysis justifies
(21 cultural properties, 1 mixed property)
consideration of the property for the World Heritage
List.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Total: 2 nominations, 2 countries If the nomination is considered incomplete or
1 new nomination insufficient according to the parameters indicated
1 referred above, ICOMOS requests additional information from
(1 cultural property, 1 mixed property) the State Party, checks relevant ICOMOS thematic
studies, and the wealth of information available about
ICOMOS regrets the underrepresentation of certain properties already evaluated and/or inscribed on the
Regions in the submission of nominations and in World Heritage List, and on the Tentative Lists, and
particular Africa and Latin America and the consults the ICOMOS network of experts to improve
Caribbean. its understanding of the nomination.

General remarks ICOMOS wishes to point out that its role is to


evaluate the properties on the basis of the
1. Quality and complexity of nomination dossiers information provided in the nominations (i.e. the
dossiers), and on the basis of on-the-spot
Generally speaking, ICOMOS notes that nominations assessment and additional studies. Similarly, it
are increasingly complex, sometimes to the detriment evaluates the protection, conservation and
of the dossiers’ clarity and coherence. management of the property at the time of the

1
nomination and not at some unspecified time in the 4. "Minor" modifications to boundaries
future after the adoption of the laws and
management plans. It is the duty of ICOMOS to These requests originate either from monitoring, the
indicate to the World Heritage Committee whether or retrospective inventory or periodic reporting.
not adequate protection and management are in
place prior to inscription. ICOMOS notes that all modifications to the
boundaries of a property and its buffer zone are
2. ICOMOS evaluations proposed as "minor" modifications, even when they
constitute in fact substantial modifications to the
The objective of ICOMOS is the conservation and property, or even in some cases an extension of the
long-term protection and presentation of the cultural property. According to the Operational Guidelines,
heritage, whether or not it is of Outstanding Universal proposals for major modifications, whether
Value. In formulating its recommendations, ICOMOS extensions or reductions, constitute a new
therefore aims to be as helpful as possible to States nomination (paragraph 165). ICOMOS recommends
Parties, whatever the final recommendation to the World Heritage Committee that this provision
proposed. should be consistently and rigorously applied.

ICOMOS is well aware that it cannot please ICOMOS suggests moreover that an extension of the
everyone. Despite being under considerable calendar for the evaluation of such requests should
pressure, not only from States Parties, it must remain be considered, to bring it into line with the calendar in
objective, rigorous and scientific, and its first duty force for new nominations, which would open up the
remains the conservation of properties. possibility of dialogue and exchange of information
with the States Parties.
The answers provided by States Parties have in
many cases confirmed, or contributed, to the 5. Serial nominations and extensions
adoption of the final recommendations made by
ICOMOS. ICOMOS recalls that the Operational Guidelines of
November 2011 (paragraph 137) validated a change
3. “Referred back” nominations – “Deferred” in the approach to serial properties. Serial
nominations nominations should not consist merely of a catalogue
of sites, but should instead concern a collection or
ICOMOS wishes to once again express its concerns ensemble of sites with specific cultural, social or
about the difficulties raised when a “deferred” functional links over time, in which each site
recommendation is changed into a “referred back” contributes substantially to the Outstanding Universal
recommendation, which does not allow the Advisory Value of the serial property as a whole.
Bodies to carry out an appropriate evaluation of
nominations which are in many cases entirely new. ICOMOS wishes to encourage States Parties to give
consideration to the implications of this change when
In its recommendations, ICOMOS clearly preparing serial nominations.
distinguishes between nominations which are
recommended to be referred back and those which This year, ICOMOS has examined 11 serial
are deferred. For referred back nominations, criteria nominations, including 230 monuments, ensembles
have been justified and conditions of integrity and and sites. These nominations require a more
authenticity have been met to the satisfaction of substantial investment in terms of human and
ICOMOS; supplementary information must be financial resources at all levels of evaluation of the
supplied to satisfy other requirements of Operational properties. Because the number of serial
Guidelines, but no further technical evaluation nominations is growing, this needs to be taken into
mission will be required. For deferred nominations, account in the budgets and contracts. Furthermore,
the very nature of the information requested (a more ICOMOS notes that there are also calendar
thorough study, major reconsideration of boundaries, pressures arising from the task of evaluating these
a request for a substantial revision, or serious gaps large and complex serial nominations and repeats its
as regards management and conservation issues) suggestion, supported by the Jade Tabet 1 review,
means that a new mission and consideration by the that the World Heritage Committee give
full ICOMOS World Heritage Panel are necessary to consideration to an extended timeframe for these
evaluate the nomination again, and to ensure that it kinds of nominations.
has the consideration needed to advance the
nomination further. 1
Tabet J., Review of ICOMOS’ working methods and procedures for
the evaluation of cultural and mixed properties nominated for
inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Paris, ICOMOS,
2010.

2
6. Development projects 9. Historic Urban Landscape (HUL)

ICOMOS points out that its Guidance on Heritage ICOMOS noted the increasing use of the notion of
Impact Assessments for cultural World Heritage Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) in the draft
properties can be consulted on its website. This statements of Outstanding Universal Value. While
Guidance has been translated into several languages acknowledging the importance of the UNESCO
and ICOMOS urges States Parties to make use of it. Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes as
In addition, a research work has been undertaken in being “an additional tool to integrate policies and
order to better understand Heritage Impact practices of conservation of the built environment into
Assessments and ICOMOS encourages States the wider goals of urban development in respect of
Parties to incorporate a Heritage Impact Assessment the inherited values and traditions of different cultural
approach into the management system of their contexts”, there is an agreement that the notion of
nominated properties, so as to ensure that any HUL should be seen as a useful methodological
programme, project or legislation regarding the approach that can sustain and strengthen
property be assessed in terms of its consequences management but cannot be understood as a
on the Outstanding Universal Value and its category of heritage and should not be mentioned as
supporting attributes. such in justifications for inscription of nominated
properties.
7. Connecting Practice
10. Cultural landscapes
As part of a process of reflection launched about
mixed properties, ICOMOS and IUCN have ICOMOS notes some new challenges and trends that
developed a project with financing from the are emerging in some nominations that have been
Christensen Fund entitled “Connecting Practice”, to submitted in recent years. One example is what is
explore a truly integrated approach to the natural and called an ‘evolving landscape’ where the idea of an
cultural heritage in the context of the World Heritage organically ‘evolved landscape’ has been merged
Convention. The outcomes of phase I has been with that of a ‘continuing landscape’. This merging is
presented at the 39th session of the World Heritage leading to nominations for properties where it is
Committee (June 2015) and its second phase has suggested that more or less everything in the
been completed in November 2017. The reports are property could continue to evolve over time. While it
available on ICOMOS website. A third phase on is clearly desirable that continuing cultural
biocultural practices is currently launched. One of the landscapes play an active role in contemporary
continued priorities of this project is to influence a society, in order for this to happen in a way that
shift in conceptual and practical arrangements for the sustains OUV, there does need to be a clear
consideration of culture and nature within the understanding of which parts of the evolutionary
implementation of the World Heritage Convention, process may evolve and how, and what aspects
and to engage new actors in promoting positive should be maintained as a ‘golden thread’ linking
results for conservation and communities. what is there now to the way the landscape has
evolved over time.
8. Transnational serial nominations
11. Sites associated with Memories of Recent
ICOMOS wishes to congratulate the States Parties Conflicts
on the efforts made to prepare transnational serial
nominations, and sees in the themes and challenges In response to concerns that a number of World
considered a return to the fundamentals of the World Heritage nominations might be submitted in the near
Heritage Convention. future related to sites associated with memories of
comparatively recent conflicts, and in the absence of
The monitoring of the state of conservation of clear parameters for how such sites relate to the
properties of this type is a considerable challenge, World Heritage Convention, ICOMOS has drafted a
which could enable experimentation with specific discussion paper on “Evaluations of World Heritage
tools adapted to such properties. Nominations related to Sites Associated with
Memories of Recent Conflicts”. This offers an
ICOMOS wishes to stress the importance of involving ICOMOS perspective on the evaluation of such sites
the Advisory Bodies in the upstream processes for in relation to the World Heritage Convention and past
the preparation of nominations of this type, and is decisions of the World Heritage Committee. It is
available for upstream involvement at strategic available on the ICOMOS website.
development level for these vast and complex
transnational serial nominations.

3
12. Upstream process

ICOMOS has been active in extending its


collaboration with States Parties on upstream work,
advice work and on the development of Tentative
Lists.

ICOMOS has extended the length of the ICOMOS


World Heritage Panel meeting in order to examine
the missions and projects developed by ICOMOS for
the purpose of upstream processes.

Furthermore, ICOMOS wishes to draw attention to


paragraph 122 of the Operational Guidelines which
invites States Parties to “contact the Advisory Bodies
and the World Heritage Centre at the earliest
opportunity in considering nominations to seek
information and guidance”, and in particular the
relevance of this paragraph in connection with the
preparation of the nomination dossier for mixed
properties and serial properties.

ICOMOS is prepared to make its expertise available


for the development of the upstream process in
preparing and following up nomination dossiers, as
far as this is possible with the resources available.

ICOMOS notes as a general observation that a


preliminary review of State Party Tentative Lists by
the Advisory Bodies, as part of the upstream
process, is potentially of great assistance in
identifying properties that are more likely to be
assessed as having OUV and therefore result in
successful nominations. It respectfully suggests to
the Committee that States Parties be encouraged to
defer proceeding with the preparation of nomination
dossiers until after such a preliminary review has
been undertaken.

The activities in which ICOMOS has been involved in


this respect (advisory missions, meetings,
consultations), organised sufficiently in advance,
have already had positive outcomes for some
nominations.

4
ICOMOS procedure

The ICOMOS procedure is described in Annex 6 of information requests should be sent to States
the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of Parties, ICOMOS uses a check box tool, which is
the World Heritage Convention. It is regulated by the included in this volume.
Policy for the implementation of the ICOMOS World
Heritage mandate (latest revision in October 2015). 1. Preparatory work
This document is available on the ICOMOS website:
www.international.icomos.org. The preparatory work is done in several stages:

This policy makes public the existing procedure, and a. Initial study of dossiers. This first stage of the work
sets out the fair, transparent and credible approach consists of the creation of an inventory of the
ICOMOS adopts in fulfilling its world heritage remit, nomination dossier documents, a study of them to
and the way it avoids conflicts of interest. identify the various issues relating to the property and
the choice of the various experts who will be called
The evaluation of nominations is coordinated by the on to study the dossier (ICOMOS advisers, experts
World Heritage Evaluation Unit of the International for mission, experts for consultations). A compilation
Secretariat of ICOMOS, in collaboration with the of all relevant comparative material (Tentative Lists,
ICOMOS officers responsible for World Heritage and properties already on the World Heritage List,
the ICOMOS World Heritage Panel. nomination dossiers, “filling the gaps” ICOMOS
study, etc.) is prepared in order to assist the work of
The ICOMOS World Heritage Panel, which brings the advisers on the specific item of comparative
together some thirty persons, is made up of members analysis.
of the ICOMOS Bureau, of representatives of
ICOMOS International Scientific Committees, and of b. Consultations. Experts are consulted to express
experts who are invited each year depending on the their opinion about the comparative analysis and the
nature of the properties nominated (rock art, Outstanding Universal Value of the nominated
20th century heritage, industrial heritage, etc.) and on properties with reference to the ten criteria set out in
the basis of geo-cultural balanced representation. the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of
TICCIH and DoCoMoMo are also invited to the World Heritage Convention (July 2017),
participate in discussions in which their expertise is paragraph 77.
relevant. To a large extent, Panel members
participate by drawing on their own financial For this purpose, ICOMOS calls on the following:
resources. The Panel, whose composition and terms
of reference are available on the ICOMOS website, • ICOMOS International Scientific Committees;
represents the various professional, geographic and • Individual ICOMOS members with special
cultural sensibilities present at the international level. expertise, identified after consultation with
It prepares the ICOMOS recommendations for each International and National Committees;
nomination on a collegial basis. • Non-ICOMOS members with specific expertise,
identified after consultation within the ICOMOS
For each nominated property, ICOMOS assesses networks.
whether it bears testimony of an Outstanding
Universal Value: For the nominations to be considered by the World
Heritage Committee at its 42nd session, around
- whether it meets the criteria of the 170 experts provided desk reviews.
Operational Guidelines;
- whether it meets the conditions of c. Technical evaluation missions. As a rule, ICOMOS
authenticity and integrity; calls on a person from the region in which the
- whether legal protection is adequate; nominated property is located. In certain exceptional
- whether the management processes are circumstances, often in cases in which the nature of
satisfactory. the property is unusual, the expert may not originate
from the region concerned. The objective of the
All properties are given equal attention, and ICOMOS missions is to study the authenticity, integrity, factors
also makes every effort to be as objective, scientific affecting the property, protection, conservation and
and rigorous as possible. management (Operational Guidelines,
paragraph 78).
In order to reinforce consistency of the evaluations
and recommendations, and to check which additional

5
Experts are sent the nomination dossier (electronic b. Interim reports. As prescribed by the revised
version and copy of the maps in colour), a note with Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the
key questions based on a preliminary examination of World Heritage Convention and its Annex 6, the
the dossiers, documentation on the Convention and Advisory Bodies have been requested to submit a
detailed guidelines for evaluation missions. short interim report for each nomination by 31
January 2018. These reports provide States Parties
All experts have a duty of confidentiality. Their with the relevant information outlining issues related
opinion about the nomination does not necessarily to the evaluation process and some include
reflect that of the organisation; it is the ICOMOS additional information requests. All documents
World Heritage Panel which, after acquainting itself received by 28 February 2018 were examined by the
with all the information, analyses it and determines second World Heritage Panel at its meeting from 12
the organisation's position. to 14 March 2018.

Missions are sent to all the nominated properties c. Finalisation of the evaluation volume and its
except in the case of nominations referred back for presentation to the World Heritage Committee.
which the Operational Guidelines do not stipulate that Following these meetings, revised evaluations have
a mission is necessary. (Note: The principle is that been prepared in both working languages, printed
properties are referred back because additional and dispatched to the UNESCO World Heritage
information is necessary, and not because thorough Centre for distribution to members of the World
or substantial modifications are needed; the Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in June - July
deadlines set out in the Operational Guidelines mean 2018.
moreover that it is not possible to organise missions,
desk reviews or consideration by the full ICOMOS Nominated properties and ICOMOS
World Heritage Panel for properties referred back). recommendations will be presented to the World
Heritage Committee by ICOMOS advisers in
25 experts representing 19 countries took part in field PowerPoint form.
missions as part of the evaluation of the
23 nominated properties, which in turn represented As an Advisory Body, ICOMOS makes a
20 countries. recommendation based on an objective, rigorous and
scientific analysis. However, decisions are the
Technical evaluation mission was carried out jointly responsibility of the World Heritage Committee. The
with IUCN for two mixed property nominations. process relies on the Committee members and their
knowledge of the nominations and the evaluations
IUCN was invited to attend the ICOMOS panel published by the Advisory Bodies.
meeting as observer and vice versa. ICOMOS and
IUCN have also exchanged information about draft 3. Referred back nominations and requests for
recommendations concerning mixed property minor modifications
nominations.
On 1st February preceding the World Heritage
ICOMOS received comments from the IUCN Committee meeting, ICOMOS also receives
concerning four cultural landscape nominations. supplementary information on nominations referred
These comments have been included in the back during previous sessions of the World Heritage
evaluations and taken into account by ICOMOS in its Committee. One referred back nomination was
recommendations. assessed for this cycle.

2. Evaluations and recommendations ICOMOS also examines requests for "minor"


modifications to boundaries or creation of buffer
a. ICOMOS World Heritage Panel. Draft evaluations zones, and for changes of criteria or name for some
(in either English or French) were prepared on the properties already inscribed on the World Heritage
basis of the information contained in the nomination List. 7 requests were submitted by the States Parties
dossiers, mission reports, consultations and concerned before 1st February this year. At the
research. They were examined by the ICOMOS request of the World Heritage Centre, all requests
World Heritage Panel at a meeting in Paris from 20 have been examined and included in the following
to 26 November 2017. The Panel defined draft document: WHC/18/42.COM/INF.8B1.Add.
recommendations and identified the additional
information requests to be sent to the States Parties.
On experimental basis, meetings were organized with
each nominating State Party and Panel members
during the meeting.

6
4. Dialogue with States Parties Heritage Convention and the direction of the World
Heritage Committee.
ICOMOS makes every effort to maintain dialogue
with the States Parties throughout the nomination The opinion of ICOMOS is both independent and
evaluation process, i.e. following receipt of the institutional. The opinion of one of its members is not
nominations, during and after the technical binding on the organisation, and the evaluation texts
evaluation mission, and following the meeting of the are each the work of between 40-50 persons for each
ICOMOS World Heritage Panel. The information nomination, with several stages of in-depth peer
requested relates to precise details or clarifications, review. ICOMOS represents cultural heritage experts
but does not invite a complete reformulation of the throughout the five regions and is working to protect
nomination dossier. the entire cultural heritage of the world.

Following the World Heritage Committee decision ICOMOS takes a professional view of the dossiers
38 COM 13.8 which call upon the Advisory Bodies to reviewed, and when appropriate makes
consult and have a dialogue with all concerned recommendations for all the properties for which
States Parties during the course of the evaluation of nominations have been submitted to it, independently
nominations, ICOMOS has strengthened the of the outstanding regional or universal scope of their
dialogue and communication in the evaluation values.
process.

The dialogues with States Parties were fruitful in Paris, April 2018
clarifying issues as well as being helpful for
elucidating facts.

However, the main point that these direct dialogues


highlighted is the fact that, even though the State
Party receives advice from ICOMOS earlier than
previously, there is still very limited time available
under the current evaluation timetable established by
the Operational Guidelines for both parties to work
together to resolve issues with dossiers that require
reformulation at a wider scale, even if the State Party
expresses a willingness to do so.

In conclusion, ICOMOS encourages States Parties to


request Upstream advice which could be useful for
resolving issues prior to the submission of
nominations.

ICOMOS recalls working document


WHC/14/38.COM/9A which mention the “option of
extending the evaluation process by 12 months to
allow for improved and constructive dialogue
between stakeholders, in the light of the outcomes of
the Director General’s meeting “World Heritage
Convention: Thinking ahead”” and supports an
extension of the calendar for the evaluation of
nominations by 12 months, which would open up the
possibility of dialogue and exchange of information
with the States Parties.

5. Conclusion

All the evaluated cultural properties are remarkable


and deserving of protection and conservation. In
reaching its recommendations to the World Heritage
Committee, ICOMOS relies on the Operational
Guidelines for the Implementation of the World

7
8
Check tool recommendations

Selection
Comparative Protection Protection Threats Mission
Integrity Authenticity Criteria justified Boundaries Conservation Management Conclusion
analysis property buffer zone addressed required
(series)

√ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ ≈ ≈ ≈ No Inscription

√ √ √ √ √ ≈ Х Х ≈ ≈ ≈ No Referral

√ √ √ √ √ Х Х Х Х Х Х Yes Deferral

O √ √ O √ Yes Deferral

O O O O O Yes Deferral

Х Х Х Х Х
No
-
inscription

√ OK - Good
The grid does not give all possible combinations, but only the lowest
benchmarks below which a nomination moves to another category.
This tool is to be used jointly with the table summarizing the ICOMOS
≈ Adequate - Can be improved
recommendations.

O Not demonstrated at this stage

Х Not OK - Not adequate

9
10
Cultural and Mixed Properties
Alphabetical Index of the evaluations (by State Party)

State Party ID number Name of the property Page


Belgium / France C 1567 Funeral and memorial sites of the First World War 136
(Western Front)
Belgium / C 1555 Colonies of Benevolence 155
Netherlands
Canada N/C 1415rev Pimachiowin Aki 21
Canada C 1564 Tr’ondëk–Klondike 168
China C 1561 Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou 68
(Zayton)
Colombia N/C 1174 Chiribiquete National Park - “The Maloca of the Jaguar” 36
Czechia C 1558 Žatec – the Town of Hops 179
Denmark C 1557 Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and 190
Sea
France C 1569 The Historic Urban Ensemble of Nîmes 202

Germany C 1553 The Archaeological Border Landscape of Hedeby and the 212
Danevirke
Germany C 1470rev Naumburg Cathedral Add
India C 1480 The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai 80
Indonesia C 1524 The Age of Trade: The Old Town of Jakarta (formerly Old 90
Batavia) and 4 Outlying Islands (Onrust, Kelor, Cipir, and
Bidadari)
Iran C 1568 Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region 101
Italy C 1538 Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century 222
Italy C 1571 Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene 231
Japan C 1495 Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region 113
Kenya C 1450rev Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site Add
Mexico N/C 1534rev Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Add
Mesoamerica
Oman C 1537 The Ancient City of Qalhat 47
Republic of Korea C 1562 Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea 124
Romania C 1552 Roșia Montană Mining Landscape 242
Saudi Arabia C 1563 Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape 56
Spain C 1560 The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara 252
Turkey C 1572 Göbekli Tepe 263
United Arab Emirates C 1458rev Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchants’ Harbour Add

11
12
Cultural and Mixed Properties
Nominations by category

New nominations (22)


Belgium / France C 1567 Funeral and memorial sites of the First World War (Western Front)
Belgium / Netherlands C 1555 Colonies of Benevolence
Canada C 1564 Tr’ondëk–Klondike
China C 1561 Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton)
Colombia N/C 1174 Chiribiquete National Park - “The Maloca of the Jaguar”
Czechia C 1558 Žatec – the Town of Hops
Denmark C 1557 Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea
France C 1569 The Historic Urban Ensemble of Nîmes
Germany C 1553 The Archaeological Border Landscape of Hedeby and the Danevirke
Germany C 1554 Jewish Cemetery Hamburg-Altona
India C 1480 The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai
Indonesia C 1524 The Age of Trade: The Old Town of Jakarta (formerly Old Batavia) and 4
Outlying Islands (Onrust, Kelor, Cipir, and Bidadari)
Iran C 1568 Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region
Italy C 1538 Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century
Italy C 1571 Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene
Japan C 1495 Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region
Oman C 1537 The Ancient City of Qalhat
Republic of Korea C 1562 Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea
Romania C 1552 Roșia Montană Mining Landscape
Saudi Arabia C 1563 Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape
Spain C 1560 The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara
Turkey C 1572 Göbekli Tepe

Referred back nomination (5)


Canada N/C 1415rev Pimachiowin Aki
Germany C 1470rev Naumburg Cathedral
Kenya C 1450rev Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site
Mexico N/C 1534rev Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Mesoamerica
United Arab Emirates C 1458rev Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchants’ Harbour

13
14
Cultural and Mixed Properties
Geographical spread of nominations

Africa 1 State Party, 1 nomination


Kenya C 1450rev Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site

Arab States 3 States Parties, 3 nominations


Oman C 1537 The Ancient City of Qalhat
Saudi Arabia C 1563 Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape
United Arab Emirates C 1458rev Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchant’s Harbour

Asia – Pacific 6 States Parties, 6 nominations


China C 1561 Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton)
India C 1480 The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai
Indonesia C 1524 The Age of Trade: The Old Town of Jakarta (formerly Old Batavia) and
4 Outlying Islands (Onrust, Kelor, Cipir, and Bidadari)
Iran C 1568 Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region
Japan C 1495 Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region
Republic of Korea C 1562 Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea

Europe – North America 11 States Parties, 15 nominations


Belgium / France C 1567 Funeral and memorial sites of the First World War (Western Front)
Belgium / Netherlands C 1555 Colonies of Benevolence
Canada N/C 1415rev Pimachiowin Aki
Canada C 1564 Tr’ondëk–Klondike
Czechia C 1558 Žatec – the Town of Hops
Denmark C 1558 Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea
France C 1569 The Historic Urban Ensemble of Nîmes
Germany C 1470rev Naumburg Cathedral
Germany C 1553 The Archaeological Border Landscape of Hedeby and the Danevirke
Germany C 1554 Jewish Cemetery Hamburg-Altona
Italy C 1538 Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century
Italy C 1571 Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene
Romania C 1552 Roșia Montană Mining Landscape
Spain C 1560 The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara
Turkey C 1572 Göbekli Tepe

Latin America and the Caribbean 2 States Parties, 2 nominations


Colombia N/C 1174 Chiribiquete National Park - “The Maloca of the Jaguar”
Mexico N/C 1534rev Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Mesoamerica

15
16
Cultural and Mixed Properties
Numerical Index of the evaluations

ID N° State Party Proposed World Heritage property Page


N/C 1174 Colombia Chiribiquete National Park - “The Maloca of the Jaguar” 36

N/C 1415rev Canada Pimachiowin Aki 21


C 1450rev Kenya Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site Add
C 1458rev United Arab Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchants’ Harbour Add
Emirates
C 1470rev Germany Naumburg Cathedral Add
C 1480 India The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai 80
C 1495 Japan Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region 113
C 1524 Indonesia The Age of Trade: The Old Town of Jakarta (formerly Old 90
Batavia) and 4 Outlying Islands (Onrust, Kelor, Cipir, and
Bidadari)
N/C 1534rev Mexico Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Mesoamerica Add
C 1537 Oman The Ancient City of Qalhat 47
C 1538 Italy Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century 222
C 1552 Romania Roșia Montană Mining Landscape 242
C 1553 Germany The Archaeological Border Landscape of Hedeby and the 212
Danevirke
C 1555 Belgium / Colonies of Benevolence 155
Netherlands
C 1557 Denmark Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea 190
C 1558 Czechia Žatec – the Town of Hops 179
C 1560 Spain The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara 252
C 1561 China Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton) 68
C 1562 Republic of Korea Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea 124
C 1563 Saudi Arabia Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape 56
C 1564 Canada Tr’ondëk–Klondike 168
C 1567 Belgium / France Funeral and memorial sites of the First World War (Western 136
Front)
C 1568 Iran Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region 101
C 1569 France The Historic Urban Ensemble of Nîmes 202
C 1571 Italy Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene 231
C 1572 Turkey Göbekli Tepe 263

17
18
Cultural and Mixed properties
Technical evaluation mission experts

State Party ID number Name of the property Field mission Date

New nominations

Belgium / C 1567 Funeral and memorial sites of Christophe Rivet (Canada) Sept. – Oct.
France the First World War (Western Cynthia Dunning 2017
Front) (Switzerland)
Mariana Correia (Portugal)
Belgium / C 1555 Colonies of Benevolence Ana Luengo (Spain) Oct. 2017
Netherlands
Canada C 1564 Tr’ondëk–Klondike Patricia O’Donnell (United Aug. 2017
States of America)
China C 1561 Historic Monuments and Sites Jeremy Green (Australia) Sept. 2017
of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton)
Colombia N/C 1174 Chiribiquete National Park - Maria Ifigenia Quintanilla Oct. 2017
“The Maloca of the Jaguar” (Costa Rica)
Czechia C 1558 Žatec – the Town of Hops Elena Dimitrova (Bulgaria) Aug.-Sept.
2017
Denmark C 1557 Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Inuit Marit Myrvoll (Norway) Sept. 2017
Hunting Ground between Ice
and Sea
France C 1569 The Historic Urban Ensemble Roberto Bobbio (Italy) Sept. 2017
of Nîmes
Germany C 1553 The Archaeological Border Neil Price (Sweden) Sept. 2017
Landscape of Hedeby and the
Danevirke
Germany C 1554 Jewish Cemetery Hamburg- Petr Justa (Czech Republic) Sept. 2017
Altona
India C 1480 The Victorian and Art Deco Yukio Nishimura (Japan) Sept. 2017
Ensemble of Mumbai
Indonesia C 1524 The Age of Trade: The Old Susan Jackson-Stepowski Sept. 2017
Town of Jakarta (formerly Old (Australia)
Batavia) and 4 Outlying
Islands (Onrust, Kelor, Cipir,
and Bidadari)
Iran C 1568 Sassanid Archaeological Assad Seif (Lebanon) Sept. 2017
Landscape of Fars region
Italy C 1538 Ivrea, industrial city of the Jean-Yves Andrieux Sept. 2017
20th century (France)
Italy C 1571 Le Colline del Prosecco di Urs Steiger (Switzerland) Oct. 2017
Conegliano e Valdobbiadene
Japan C 1495 Hidden Christian Sites in the Richard Mackay (Australia) Sept. 2017
Nagasaki Region
Oman C 1537 The Ancient City of Qalhat May Ahmad al-Ibrashy Sept. 2017
(Egypt)

19
State Party ID number Name of the property Field mission Date

Republic of C 1562 Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Wang Lijun (China) Sept. 2017
Korea Monasteries in Korea
Romania C 1552 Roșia Montană Mining Helmuth Albrecht (Germany) Sept. 2017
Landscape
Saudi Arabia C 1563 Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Alaa Elwi El-Habashi (Egypt) Sept. 2017
Cultural Landscape
Spain C 1560 The Caliphate City of Medina Attilio Petruccioli (Italy) Sept. 2017
Azahara
Turkey C 1572 Göbekli Tepe Gabriel Cooney (Ireland) Oct. 2017

Referred back nomination

Canada N/C 1415rev Pimachiowin Aki Gregory De Vries (United Sept. 2017
States of America)

Germany C 1470rev Naumburg Cathedral Sergiu Musteata (Moldova) Aug. 2016

Kenya C 1450rev Thimlich Ohinga Menno Welling (Malawi) Sept. 2014


Archaeological Site
Mexico N/C 1534rev Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: Luisa Diaz Arriola (Peru) Oct. 2016
originary habitat of
Mesoamerica
United Arab C 1458rev Khor Dubai, a Traditional Faïka Béjaoui (Tunisia) Oct. 2016
Emirates Merchants’ Harbour

20
III Mixed properties
A Europe – North America
Nomination referred back by previous sessions
of the World Heritage Committee

B Latin America - Caribbean


New nomination
In terms of the Operational Guidelines for the
Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
Pimachiowin Aki (12 July 2017), paragraph 47, it is also a cultural
(Canada) landscape.

No 1415rev [Note: the property is nominated as a mixed cultural and natural


site. IUCN will assess the natural significances, while ICOMOS
assesses the cultural significances.]

Official name as proposed by the State Party 1 Basic data


Pimachiowin Aki
Included in the Tentative List
Location
1 October 2004
Manitoba and Ontario Provinces
Canada
International Assistance from the World Heritage
Fund for preparing the Nomination
Brief description
None
Pimachiowin Aki encompasses 2, 904,000 square
kilometres of the Anishinaabe ancestral lands at the
Date received by the World Heritage Centre
headwaters of the Berens, Bloodvein, Pigeon and Poplar
24 January 2017
rivers. This forest landscape dissected by free-flowing
rivers, lakes and wetlands includes portions of the lands
Background
of four Anishinaabe First Nations: Bloodvein River First
This is referred nomination that follows a deferred
Nation, Little Grand Rapids First Nation, Pauingassi First
nomination.
Nation, and Poplar River First Nation.
At its 37th meeting in Phnom Penh, in decision
The Anishinaabeg are a highly mobile indigenous
37 COM 8B.19, the World Heritage Committee deferred
hunting-gathering-fishing people, who say that they and
the nomination of Pimachiowin Aki (Canada) to the
their indigenous ancestors have made use of this and
World Heritage List.
adjacent landscapes for over 7,000 years. The
Anishinaabe cultural tradition of Ji-ganawendamang
Following the decision, an ICOMOS/IUCN advisory
Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the Land) involves honouring
mission provided upstream assistance to the organizers
the Creator’s gifts, observing respectful behaviour
of the nomination and residents through a series of
toward all life, and maintaining harmonious relations with
workshops in October 2013. Subsequently further advice
other people.
was provided to the State Party through Skype
discussions and also through written advice on the
Pimachiowin Aki expresses a testimony to the beliefs,
Comparative Analysis. The revised nomination that was
values, knowledge, and practices that constitute Keeping
submitted in January 2015 provided much more details
the Land through a complex network of often
on cultural aspects; it also had different cultural criteria
impermanent interlinked sites, routes and areas.
and a substantially revised comparative analysis.
Specifically there are ancient and contemporary
livelihood sites, habitations and processing sites, travel
At its 40th meeting, (Istanbul 2016), the World Heritage
routes, named places, trap lines and sacred and
Committee examined the property and took the following
ceremonial sites, most linked by waterways, and all
decision 40 COM 8B.18
tangible reflection of Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan
(Keeping the Land). The World Heritage Committee,
[…]
Today Anishinaabeg in the nominated property are 6. Recognizing recently identified issues regarding governance
and relationships within the Pimachiowin Aki Corporation,
based in four small permanent Anishinaabe communities
refers Pimachiowin Aki, Canada, back to the State Party to
and harvest animals, plants and fish, consistent with allow it to work with the Pimachiowin Aki Corporation to
their traditional practices and Treaty rights. They still identify and implement appropriate actions to ensure
maintain their strong spiritual interactions with the effective governance and management of the nominated
property;
natural landscape through the legendary beings and
7. Notes that the Advisory Bodies would be ready and willing
spirits who are seen to control the natural world. to offer advice on the above, if requested;
8. Recommends the State Party to give consideration to
Category of property continue the development of the management plan to
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in address socio-economic challenges and to promote
Article I of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a sustainable livelihoods, including through the development
of sustainable tourism and other activities, and giving
site. particular attention to the landscape and its spiritual
associations.

21
The State Party has submitted a revised nomination with knowledge of, and respect for, the landscape and the
a reduced overall area, which is the object of the current tangible and intangible natural resources it provides. The
evaluation. landscape has shaped the way of life of the people and
Consultations in turn is embedded in their oral traditions and
ICOMOS has consulted its International Scientific cosmology.
Committee on Cultural Landscapes and several
independent experts. The nominated area includes portions of the ancestral
lands of Bloodvein River First Nation, Little Grand
Technical Evaluation Mission Rapids First Nation, Pauingassi First Nation, and Poplar
A joint ICOMOS/IUCN technical evaluation mission River First Nation. Today they number around
visited the property from 6 to 7 September 2017. 5,972 people.

Additional information received by ICOMOS Pimachiowin Aki can be translated as the Land that
A joint IUCN/ ICOMOS Interim report was sent to the Gives Life. The Anishinaabeg view their land as a gift
State Party on 22 January 2018 and the State Party from the Creator to be shared for the benefit not only of
provided additional information on the development in Anishinaabeg, but also for visitors, and for all of
the areas that have been withdrawn from the humanity. The Anishinaabeg and all other beings, the
nomination; the scope for expanding the nominated animals, the trees and plants, the fish, the waters, are
area; the opportunities for other First Nations to engage perceived as one living entity, part of an ancient, but
in the governance of the nominated area; the protection continuous, and living cultural landscape.
of the nominated area from the impacts of hydroelectric
power lines. This has been incorporated into the relevant The greatest ambition of Anishinaabeg is mino-bimaadizi
sections below. (to lead a good life). The health and well-being
associated with bimaadiziwin is seen to depend on
Date of ICOMOS approval of this report maintaining respectful and harmonious relationships with
14 March 2018 all life on the land.

The nominated area provides a complete representation


2 The property of how the living cultural tradition of Keeping the Land
guides Anishinaabe perception and use of the
Description Pimachiowin Aki cultural landscape. The tangible
The revised nomination differs from the earlier evidence of the Anishinaabe cultural tradition within
nominations in that it encompasses parts of the lands of Pimachiowin Aki includes resource harvesting places,
four Anishinaabeg (First Nation) communities rather than cabin and seasonal camp sites, harvest processing
five. sites, traditional travel routes, named places, sacred and
ceremonial sites, pictographs and other sites of
This change means a reduction in the spatial extent of archaeological significance, and trap line areas.
the expression of the cultural tradition and a reduction of
the total number of cultural attributes associated with The communities maintain their traditional world view
places on the land including sacred and ceremonial, and pass it on to new generations through oral history
harvesting, and habitation and processing sites. Due to and rituals. Community Elders are respected, traditional
this modification, there is a reduction of inter-community values and teachings heeded, and culturally important
linkages through waterway travel routes. The removal of sites memorised. A major part of the population speaks
one community from the nomination has also resulted in Anishinaabemowin, some as their only language. The
a slightly reduced scope for demonstrating the role of four communities differ from one another culturally,
customary governance in regulating access to and use socially and economically.
of land between different communities. The land that
was formerly part of the nominated area is now included The nominated area is large and contains sufficient
in the buffer zone. mature and diverse vegetation to allow the communities
to sustain their traditional livelihoods.
The Anishinaabeg are an indigenous hunting-gathering-
fishing people who are believed to have lived in the The Pimachiowin Aki nomination has been led by the
surrounding areas for at least 7,000 years, although as Anishinaabeg who wish to have recognition for their role
discussed below there have been many migrations in in sustaining their community’s relationship with the
and around the nominated area by the Anishinaabeg waterways and forests of the environment within which
and also by the Cree people. they live.

In spite of being subject to significant social disturbances Within the landscape, the impact of the Anishinaabeg
as a result of European colonization, such as being activities can be seen mostly along the rivers, near
placed on Reserves and children being separated from ancient routes (some still in use), in ceremonial sites and
their families by residential schooling, the Anishinaabeg rock pictographs, at camps and cabin sites, both
have been able to retain their traditional culture including abandoned and actively-used, and in settlements.

22
The nominated area extends to some 29,040 square Mnemonic narratives connected with the travel routes
kilometres across the heart of the North American have continued. Elders have begun to document these
‘boreal shield’ forest (that is forest of the northern travel routes and associated traditions using cultural
temperate zone within the Canadian Shield of Geographic Information System mapping (GIS).
Precambrian rock), dissected by long free-flowing rivers,
myriad lakes and wetlands. The North American Boreal Pictographs
shield is part of a global boreal biome that encircles the Over a hundred pictographs have been recorded at thirty
globe just south of the Arctic Circle. Thus there is a locations. Some of the images correspond in form and
Eurasian boreal shield as well as one in North America. material to other pictographs in the Lake of-the-Woods
Style associated with the Archaic Period in North
The boundaries of the nominated area have been America. A few of the images could have been made as
determined through a community-led land-use planning late as c 1,800 AD. They are seen by the Anishinaabeg
initiative between indigenous peoples and the Provincial to be related to sacred sites.
authorities that had the aim of creating new livelihoods to
help sustain aboriginal communities. The boundaries do Settlements
not encompass all the Anishinaabeg ancestral lands; Until a century ago, the Anishinaabeg mainly gathered in
some lie outside the boundaries and of these some are one place only in the summer months and dispersed
in the buffer zone. The Anishinaabe / Ojibwe language is across the whole of Pimachiowin Aki during the winter.
spoken in an extensive area on both sides of the border
between Canada and the United States of America. Within the nominated area, four of these traditional
summer gathering sites have now become year-round
The people within the nominated area represent around settlements for the First Nation communities who have
less than a quarter of all those speaking built modern houses. Each settlement is surrounded by
Anishinaabemowin as their first language. The its own reserve and located on one of the four main
Anishinaabe cultural landscape, and beliefs and waterways.
practices connected with it, thus continue beyond the
boundaries of the nominated area. The communities Camps and cabin sites
moved prior to permanent settlement and there are Outside of the contemporary First Nation communities,
references to culturally important sites outside the temporary habitation and food processing sites are
nominated area. However, the nominated area is where found throughout the nominated area, and especially
the Anishinaabe culture is seen to persist most strongly. along waterways.

Their landscape is beginning to be opened up to tourists, Collaborative research between the community and
with operators from outside the area developing fly archaeologists since 2003 has helped to document sites
fishing lodges and hunting camps (see below). used within living memory for habitation and harvesting
activities and more than 650 cabin and camp sites have
Hunting, trapping, fishing and harvesting wild produce been recorded to date. Some show remarkable
Hunting, trapping, fishing and harvesting are at the heart continuity of evidence with many cabins located on or
of the Anishinaabeg relationship with the land. The near ancient campsites, some for instance being near
continued harvesting of plants, animals, and other forms fire pit sites that have been dated to the Middle
of life is undertaken in a manner that ensures continuity Woodland period (2,200-1,300 ya) or Late Woodland
of all life on the land. period (1,300-300 ya), or near pictograph sites or early
quartze quarry sites at which stone material was
Hunting, trapping and fishing is today carried out for collected to make tools.
briefer periods than in the past and from the basis of
their permanent settlements. It is also regulated by The forest
provincial trapping regulation introduced in the 1940s. Some of the forest resources used by the communities
such as medicinal plants are highly dispersed, and found
The Anishinaabeg maintain a strong communal practice in small and highly specific places. In order to sustain
which means that resources are there to be shared. If such plants, a sifting or rotational use of sites is
someone kills a moose, its meat is distributed around the practiced. The land-based knowledge of Anishinaabeg,
community. known as Akiiwi-gikendamowining, is especially
important in locating these resources and understanding
Waterways and sled routes the changing distribution throughout the nominated area
The gete bimishkaawin (cultural waterways) that transect over time, particularly after wild fires.
the forest form a network connecting the communities
with one another and to the extensive harvesting areas. A more widespread type of harvesting is of birch bark,
The traditional routes continue to be used, and although peeled from paper birch trees along the rivers and used
canoe paddles have been replaced by outboards and for making baskets, horns for calling moose in the
snowmobiles by dog-teams, survival still depends on an autumn hunt, and historically, as a material for covering
intimate knowledge of the land. wigwams and for building canoes.

23
Controlled fires (although not denying evidence of earlier occupancy)
In early spring when the lakes are still snow covered, the with the Cree people moving later into the area, while
Anishinaabeg practise bashkosigewining, the controlled others consider that the Shield region was occupied at
burning of shoreline wetlands. This promotes the growth the time of contact by the Cree people, but the Ojibwe
of grasses that enhance foods and habitats for animals moved into the area and displaced the pre-existing Cree
such as muskrats and ducks that are hunted for food. population, and yet others assert that it was the term
Ojibwe that gradually came to be associated with all the
Wild rice people living in the Shield region and thus the Crees and
Some harvesting sites in Pimachiowin Aki have been other northern residents did not move, they became
intentionally managed to increase their productivity. Ojibwa. These aspects are considered further below
Archaeological evidence indicates that Anishinaabeg under conclusions.
were cooking wild rice in pots at least 1,200 years ago.
Pimachiowin Aki’s geographic position in the centre of
Oral traditions the continent, has led to techniques and ideas being
The Anishinaabeg world view of a symbiotic relationship introduced from all directions, such as in the
between people and nature attributes animacy to objects 18th century AD through involvement with the
in the natural world giving meaning to peoples’ international fur trade, and, in the 19th century, through
existence in this environment over time and through the the oil trade and the spread of Christianity.
seasons. The Creator, Manitou, has a central place. The
Anishinaabeg believe that He has placed them on their Euro-Canadians who organised the fur trade bought
ancestral lands. Two kinds of spirit beings are repeatedly pelts from animals trapped by the Anishinaabeg. By the
referred to: the Thunderbirds or Binesiwag and the Little 1820s when the initial intense fur trade had ended and
Rock People or memegwesiwag. The first represent a the beaver population had been decimated, the
cultural tradition widely shared across continents. They Anishinaabeg communities returned to their traditional
are generally known and awed by the Anishinaabe seasonal trapping activities. In the second half of the
communities, like many other First Nations, as powerful 19th century, a second commercial harvesting activity
helpers and carers for the land. In the nomination they was developed around the export of oil from sturgeon in
are said to nest in rock formations created at a time Lake Winnipeg organised by non-Anishinaabeg people.
when plants still did not exist. Their nests are respected. As with the fur trade, intense exploitation led to a rapid
They are believed to cause forest fires by lightning. decline in resources. In the 1930s and 1940s smaller
sturgeon fishing enterprises were set up in the
Elders and others with land-based knowledge (akiiwi- nominated area but these were short lived.
gikendamowining) are especially esteemed for their role
in guiding decision-making in personal, family and Between the 1950s and 1970s, the growth in air traffic,
community matters related to use of the land. and the support of the Federal Government, allowed the
Knowledgeable elders are revered for their role in Anishinaabeg people to exploit other species of fish for
ensuring continuity of Keeping the Land. trade. During these two decades, fishing took over from
traditional trapping as the main source of income and
History and development brought increased material prosperity. By the 1970s,
Although human occupation in the Pimachiowin Aki area commercial fishing opportunities had declined
can be dated to Late Paleo-Indian Plano traditions dramatically in the face of rising costs, conservation
around 10,000-8,000 years ago, and is associated with concerns, and unstable markets. During the 1980s,
small isolated communities of hunters, the ancestors of international markets for fur also went into steep decline
the Anishinaabeg people appear to have begun to settle as a result of international anti-trapping campaigns.
seasonally when the climate turned warmer between
7,000 to 2,200 years ago. This is when pictographs are From the 1940s changes were also brought about by an
believed to have first appeared. By 2,200 years ago a increase in the activities of government agencies,
definite seasonal pattern of hunting appears to have particularly in relation to education and health care. Both
been established. of these were centralised and this had the effect of
pulling communities towards fixed settlements and a
The present-day Anishinaabe have their cultural roots in concomitant decline in seasonal hunting and fishing. At
the Great Lakes area and were officially recognised as the same time, fur trapping became regularised and
being in Pimachiowin Aki in the Treaty of 1875. quotas were set under what is known as a trap line
system.
The nomination dossier asserts that Pimachiowin Aki
demonstrates ‘more than 7,000 years of indigenous The decline in opportunities for commercial fishing and
occupancy’ centred on the four Anishinaabe First trapping over the past fifty years has greatly diminished
Nations. Whether they have been living there for independent incomes amongst the Anishinaabeg. They
centuries if not millennia, or migrated into the area in the are now strongly dependent on public subsidies. During
18th century is still debated by historians. There are the same time the population has significantly increased.
those who consider the Shield region was devoid of
human habitation at the time of contact with Europeans

24
This loss of income combined with the pull of federal arctic area as this is where similar boreal forests and
services and the push off the land has spurred waterways are located and similar traditions of use by
cooperative relations between First Nations, and the indigenous peoples. ICOMOS agrees that this geo-
provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. cultural area should provide the basis for the analysis.

In 2002, five First Nations of Pimachiowin Aki came Thirty-four sites were considered and seven immediately
together to develop a cooperative accord they titled discarded as having only relict evidence. Of the
Protected Areas and First Nation Resource Stewardship: remaining 27 sites, 17 are in Canada and 10 in the
A Cooperative Relationship Accord. This has since come United States of America. All of these are designated
to be known as the First Nations Accord. It aimed to historic sites. It is presumed that only protected sites
strengthen mutual support. In 2016, one First Nation were considered but this point is not made clear.
withdrew from this voluntary association. There are other
Anishinaabe First Nations outside the Accord. Analysis of these sites under the six themes concludes
that some sites exhibit some themes but not others,
The Accord was subsequently extended to a partnership while in many others the documentation is insufficient to
with the two Provincial governments of Ontario and allow a definitive answer, as there is no cultural
Manitoba and became the Pimachiowin Aki Corporation. inventory, or there is no mention in planning documents
The Corporation promoted the nomination process and of customary governance. Perhaps the most common
community based land-use planning that has been negative factors are the lack of, or weak evidence for,
instrumental in determining the boundaries of the sacred and ceremonial sites, the lack of acknowledged
nominated area. customary governance, and insufficient size to allow
widespread hunting and trapping and seasonal
migration.
3 Justification for inscription, integrity and
authenticity The analysis was only undertaken in relation to the
current boundaries of the chosen sites even though the
Comparative analysis boundaries might have been drawn to protect natural
The comparative analysis in the revised nomination has assets (as is clear from some of the names that include
been amended to reflect the change in boundaries. Wildlife Refuge, and Biodiversity Reserves) rather than
There are very few models for comparative analyses for cultural assets. It thus appears to be sometime the case
properties of indigenous values especially in which there that these sites might have yielded more positive
is not substantial tangible built evidence or landscape comparisons if further evidence had been available.
modification and where the landscape is considered
‘natural’. The Pimachiowin Aki nomination has In summary, comparisons show that there are four sites
developed a framework for such comparative analyses in Canada that might be seen as comparable to
which is helpful but has some limitations – especially in Pimachiowin Aki in that they all exhibit the themes to
terms of the lack of cultural documentation in some sites varying degrees and overall can be said to reflect the
selected for comparison. relationship between indigenous culture and the
environment. These sites are Old Crow Flats Special
The purpose of the comparative analysis is to show that Management Area, Saoyú-ʔehdacho National Historic
the nominated property, as a place with potential site, Albanel-Témiscamie-Otish proposed Biodiversity
Outstanding Universal Value, has no comparators on the Reserve, and Cat Lake – Slate Falls First Nations
World Heritage List, or on Tentative lists, or anywhere Protected Areas.
else. Thus comparisons need to be made between the
property as a whole and other potentially comparable In making the case for why it is considered that there is
places to see if any of them has the same or a similar room on the World Heritage List of Pimachiowin Aki, it is
combination of Outstanding Universal Value and suggested that it has the most complete representation
attributes that defines them as a place. of the attributes and is thus an exceptional example and
has the strongest claim to Outstanding Universal Value
The comparative analysis that has been offered does not over and above the four others.
quite adopt this holistic approach. Instead it offers
separate comparisons with discrete aspects of the ICOMOS considers that what is clear from the work
property, called themes (harvesting sites, habitations undertaken is that ideas similar to the Keeping the Land
and processing sites, sacred and ceremonial sites, water concept are common across the vast area of the
travel routes, widespread distribution and customary American North Subarctic. However the detailed data to
governance), whereas it is the combination of these support understanding of precisely how communities
themes that make up the idea of Keeping the Land. relate to their environment and have done so over time
remains patchy at best. What is not clear on the basis of
Selection of sites for comparison, starts from the the evidence provided is whether there are few social
premise that places that most clearly exhibit cultural and cultural differences between the many communities
traditions most similar to the Anishinaabeg practice of and thus Pimachiowin Aki is the best place to represent
Keeping the Land are found in the North American sub- this vast part of the globe on the World Heritage list, or

25
whether there are cultural differences related to specific and sacred places such as pictographs associated
aspects such as hunting traditions, governance, water with powerful spirit beings;
management, and cultural history, and there could be an • These attributes are dispersed widely across a large
opportunity for more than one place to be put on the landscape and concentrated along waterways, which
World Heritage List as a reflection of differing are an essential source of livelihood resources and a
approaches to the idea of Keeping the Land in this means of transportation;
region. • Anishinaabe customary governance and oral
traditions ensure continuity of these cultural
Clearly it would have been desirable for a more detailed traditions across the generations.
thematic study to have been undertaken on this
extremely important type of cultural landscape that could ICOMOS considers that, as is discussed above,
have shown more clearly the differences and similarities Pimachiowin Aki, on the basis of present knowledge
between communities and the way they have interacted cannot necessarily be seen to be the most complete
with the land over many centuries. Such a study could example of a landscape that reflects Keeping the Land
also have thrown more light on the migrations of people traditions. It is though an exceptional example of the way
around the area – this would not have diminished their one group of communities manifest those traditions, in
connection with the land but could have amplified the an extensive natural landscape of multi-layered forest,
way traditions have persisted over time even if people particularly through the use of waterways and through
have moved from one area to another (this point is perpetuating their traditions of customary governance.
picked up in the Conclusions).
Nor can it be said that the Anishinaabeg have been the
On the basis of the evidence put forward, ICOMOS only communities to have lived for millennia in this
considers that the analysis justifies consideration of particular part of the overall North American shield forest
Pimachiowin Aki for the World Heritage List, for its which many communities have shared. In ICOMOS’s
reflection of the water-based practices of the view this does not diminish the value of the special
Anishinaabeg, but that it should not be considered as relationship between people and the land and the
representing the cultural landscapes of the whole of the landscape that this has sustained.
American sub-arctic region.
Integrity and authenticity
ICOMOS considers that further studies should be
undertaken on the way landscape reflects the important Integrity
cultural systems that characterise the many indigenous
communities of the American sub-Arctic region, before The nominated area encompasses slightly less than a
any further sites are considered for nomination. quarter of the lands occupied by Anishinaabeg peoples.
The boundaries partly conform to historic trap line areas
but do not include all the ancestral areas of the four
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis has
communities – see boundaries below.
justified consideration of this property for the World
Heritage List under cultural criteria.
In spite of the reduction in area, it is of sufficient size to
encompass all aspects of Anishinaabeg traditional
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value livelihood activities, customary waterways, traditional
The nominated property is considered by the State Party knowledge of the landscape and seasonal rounds of
to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural travel, for hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering, and
property for the following reasons: sacred sites, although some of these extends beyond
the boundaries.
a) Pimachiowin Aki is the most complete and therefore
exceptional example of a landscape within the North The key attributes are considered to be highly intact. The
American Subarctic geo-cultural area that provides whole property is protected from commercial logging,
testimony to the cultural tradition of Ji- mining, and hydroelectric development, and all its
ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the Land); waterways are free of dams and diversions. Patterns of
• Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan consists of the traditional use (fishing, gathering, hunting and trapping)
beliefs, values, knowledge, and practices that guide and veneration of specific sites by the Anishinaabe First
the Anishinaabeg in their interaction with aki (the Nations have developed over millennia through
land and all its life) and with each other in ways that adaptation to the dynamic ecological processes of the
are respectful and express a reverence for all boreal forest, and appear to be ecologically sustainable.
creation;
• Anishinaabeg have for millennia lived intimately with The vastness of Pimachiowin Aki at 29,040 km² with only
this special place in the heart of the North American 5,972 residents and a buffer zone of an additional
boreal shield forest; 35,926 km² provides a sufficiently large area to enable
• The Anishinaabeg cultural traditions are manifest in continuity of the living cultural tradition of Keeping the
harvesting sites, habitation and processing sites, trap Land.
lines, travel routes, named places, ceremonial sites,

26
The very limited infrastructure includes some power Land). Keeping the Land guides relations between
lines, seasonally functional winter roads, and the all- Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe people) and the land; it is the
season East Side Road (under construction). All of these framework through which the cultural landscape of
are subject to numerous protections concerning Pimachiowin Aki is formed, given meaning, and
development. maintained across the generations.

Authenticity Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan reflects the intimate


interconnectedness between Anishinaabeg and their
The ability of the landscape to reflect its value is not
environment; a way of life in which nature and culture
straightforward when, as is the case with Pimachiowin
are inextricably intertwined and which has persisted over
Aki, the links between people and place are often
several millennia;
ephemeral and often intangible. Authenticity relates in
this instance first all to the robustness of cultural
No other site in the North American Subarctic contains a
traditions that underpin spiritual, social and economic
comparable testimony to the complete suite of attributes
interactions and their ability to function fully in relation to
that manifest Keeping the Land, and the distribution of
the adequacy of natural resources, and secondly to the
these attributes across a wide landscape interconnected
necessary freedom of movement needed for
by waterway travel routes.
communities to respond to changing seasons and
environmental conditions.
ICOMOS considers that this criterion can be justified but
without it being said that this is the only place in the
North American sub-arctic that might demonstrate the
Secondly authenticity also relates to how far the sites in
idea of Keeping the Land, as other landscapes of other
the landscape (such as archaeological sites, sacred
communities might provide different but also exceptional
sites, waterways and hunting and harvesting sites)
responses to this key philosophy.
remain in use to a degree that the landscape reflects
adequate interactions over time. And this is turn relates
to the ability of the Anishinaabeg communities to ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified.
maintain the resilience of their traditions across their
vast landscape. Criterion (vi): be directly or tangibly associated with
events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with
Although cultural traditions are pervasive across the artistic and literary works of outstanding universal
landscape, through both personal and collective significance;
connections, within the four First Nation communities
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the
there are minor variations in relation to the particular
grounds that Pimachiowin Aki is directly and tangibly
ways of perceiving, practicing and maintaining the
associated with the living tradition and beliefs of
tradition of Keeping the Land. These variations seem to
Anishinaabeg, who understand they were placed on the
reflect centuries of interaction with people from outside
land by the Creator and given all they need to survive.
of these communities such cross‐cultural contact with
Oji‐Cree, Métis, northern European and other peoples Having received the gift of life that is Pimachiowin Aki,
within the Poplar River and Bloodvein River First Anishinaabeg are bound by a sacred trust to “keep” the
nations. land; that is, to care for all life in a way that honours
creation and enables Anishinaabeg to achieve health
In order to sustain the resilience of traditions, and prosperity, or bimaadiziwin (a good life).
maintaining authenticity will need to be an overt part of Anishinaabe uphold this sacred responsibility to care for
the management of the property. the land through their cultural tradition of Ji-
ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the Land).
ICOMOS considers that the conditions of integrity and
authenticity have been met, but authenticity will need to They involve ensuring harmonious relations with the
be actively sustained. other spirit beings with whom Anishinaabeg share the
land and carry out the Creator’s plan for a healthy and
Criteria under which inscription is proposed productive life on the land, through offering sites such as
The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria grandfather stones and hollows in exposed bedrock
(iii) and (vi), (and natural criteria (ix)). where objects of value or tobacco are left for spirit
beings; ceremonial sites used to communicate with and
Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional pay respect to other beings through drumming, dancing,
testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which and visions; and sacred places such as pictograph sites,
is living or which has disappeared; Thunderbird nests, and places where memegwesiwag
(little rock people) dwell.
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the
grounds that Pimachiowin Aki provides an exceptional
The beliefs and values that make up Ji-ganawendamang
testimony to the continuing Anishinaabe cultural tradition
Gidakiiminaan are carried down through the generations
of Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the
by means of a vibrant oral tradition in the Ojibwe

27
language. Oral traditions, including legends, stories, and The socio-cultural impacts of new roads should be also
songs, are central to the authentic intergenerational assessed, including the effects of increased accessibility
transmission of the cultural tradition. Oral traditions are on the communities and on the road corridors, and
tangibly associated with the nominated area through particularly on potential tourism development.
named places, which serve as mnemonic prompts for
intimate knowledge of the land, including locations of While commercial forestry is now prohibited within the
resources, travel routes, and the history of Anishinaabe nominated area, small scale community‐based
occupation and use. commercial forestry is allowed in limited areas of the
buffer zone.
These beliefs are sustained by systems of customary
governance based on family structures and respect for Forest management plans for the potential commercial
the elders. forestry on parts of the buffer area have been developed
by communities to protect both natural and cultural
ICOMOS considers that although it cannot be said with heritage.
certainty that the Anishinaabe have for millennia lived in
Pimachiowin Aki, nor that Pimachiowin Aki is the only There is no mining in the nominated area and mineral
landscape in North America that manifest ideas of exploration and mining development are not allowed in
people having a sacred responsibility to keep the land, the community land-use plans. However, in parts of the
its size and the strength of its traditions make it an buffer zone there are pending mineral claims. Should
exceptional example of a belief of universal significance. these be revived, mining activity would have to be
approved by the First Nation on whose traditional land it
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified. would take place, as well as by the provincial
government.
ICOMOS considers that the nominated property
Two small areas identified decades ago by the province
meets criteria (iii) and (vi) and that the conditions of
for low‐medium mineral potential in the eastern buffer
authenticity and integrity have been met.
zone are unlikely to be developed. This was confirmed
by representatives at high levels in the Province of
Manitoba which has full supported the nomination. Gold
4 Factors affecting the property
mining already occurs in Red Lake outside the buffer
zone. It is not legally possible to ban mining in the
New all-weather roads are being planned within the
adjacent areas. Stronger preventive measures to
property in response, it is stated, to worsening climatic
mitigate the environmental impacts of mining beyond the
conditions, in order to try and address the high cost of
buffer zone are suggested in the nomination dossier, for
staple foods being transported into the area, to provide
instance a strict permit procedure involving control by
jobs for locals and to promote tourism.
First Nations.

The main construction is a new all-season road that will


For the segments of the all‐season road within the
run on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, for some
nominated area, small gravel quarries related to road
200 kilometres inside the nominated property. This East
construction are designated through mandatory
Side road will replace the existing winter road network
community‐based processes along the road corridor.
which currently extends through and beyond the
nominated area. The road will link the four Manitoba
Development within the nominated area is also
First Nation communities of Pimachiowin Aki, and the
associated with tourism activities such as canoeing and
neighbouring First Nation community of Berens River,
fishing. The building of lodges without negotiation or
with the existing all-season road system to the south.
formal permission is still a cause for resentment by the
First Nations, as well as the overuse of certain fish
This is a long-term project. Work has already started and
stocks by tourists. The current scale of development,
the road reached Bloodvein River, the southernmost
however, remains modest with the number of visitors
First Nation in Pimachiowin Aki in 2012, and is
around 2,000 per year, but the all season road project is
scheduled to reach all other communities by 2040.
expected to facilitate more arrivals.

Although some road construction is necessary for the


The First Nations express their willingness to develop
wellbeing of the communities, ICOMOS considers that
sustainable tourism in a limited way, under their own
its environmental impacts should be carefully assessed
control, through providing their own services and
and checked by high-quality planning, fitting the road
interpretation centres and by offering guiding to selected
into landscape and minimising its disruptive effects to
sites. Interviews by the ICOMOS technical evaluation
wildlife and traditional land uses. This might involve
mission with Anishinaabe and non‐indigenous owners of
higher than normal costs.
fishing and hunting lodges indicated that guests’ desire
for more “authentic” experiences with First Nation people
and traditions. The biggest tourism pressure is expected
to be the Atikaki Provincial Park, the most accessible

28
part of the nominated area. Only Bloodvein River will The ability of the First Nations to sustain their culture is
welcome tourism to its entire reserve area. also under some threat from socioeconomic and health
issues and by acculturation. The former include
Associated with the all‐season road project, small scale, extremely high unemployment, and health problems.
tourism oriented facilities are being built to
accommodate visitors such as a boat launch and Climate change may increase the likelihood of forest
associated parking area and camping area in order to fires, an essential ecosystem process in the boreal
contain social and environmental impacts. Campsite forest. Provincial fire management regimes include
systems are in place in Woodland Caribou and Atikaki cultural heritage and environmental factors such as
provincial parks within the nominated area. In endangered species into their response plans. The
conjunction with the First Nation communities, the preferred option is to allow fires to fulfil their ecological
provincial parks have developed river warden and land role.
warden programs that place local young people in areas
frequented by tourists to build capacity and foster ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property
cultural engagement. are possible hydro-electric power lines, the physical and
indirect developmental impacts of roads, rapid
The potential threat of Hydro-electric power transmission expansion of tourism, the loss of traditional knowledge
lines has been added in the revised nomination dossier and increased acculturation.
at the request of the recently elected government of
Manitoba.
5 Protection, conservation and
Any suggestion though that hydroelectric power lines
may even be considered, appears to be contrary to management
statements that logging, mining, and hydroelectric
development are prohibited in the nominated area by Boundaries of the nominated property
means of legislation. Large high voltage power lines and buffer zone
would have an impact on the integrity of the landscape The proposed boundaries encompass three provincial
both in visual and associative terms. protected areas (Woodland Caribou and Atikaki
Provincial Parks and Eagle‐Snowshoe Conservation
Under integrity section of the nomination dossier, there Reserve) as well as all the designated protected areas
is confirmation that the area is free from threats of determined through community‐led land use planning by
hydroelectric development and that waterways, the the four Anishinaabe First Nations. The boundaries are
lifeblood of aki, are free of dams and diversions. not visually delineated on the ground due to the enormity
Although the nomination dossier stresses the fact that of the proposed area and the similar and intact
consultation would take place with first Nation landscape of the surrounding buffer zone. For the
communities, it is not clear why this is needed if hydro- inhabitants of the nominated area and those of the buffer
electric development is not allowed in the nominated area, the boundaries are apparent because they
area. If however hydro-electric power lines are not conform to trap lines. These boundaries are also
considered to be part of hydro-electric development, this mapped and recorded in law to designate the territory of
omission needs to be addressed. the four Anishinaabe First Nations of Pimachiowin Aki.

Each of the four First Nations has their own distinct The boundaries have been defined by each community
tradition, including their unique and thriving dialects. in a slightly different way. Little Grand Rapids and
Some of the teachings and skills have been lost or Pauingassi have included most of their planning areas,
weakened and are being re-learned. The extensive leaving smaller areas in adjacent management area
recording of oral history and its codifying into educational buffers, whereas Poplar River and Bloodvein River have
programmes and tourist interpretation is an important included all the lands in their planning areas within the
cultural process, and care needs to be exercised to nomination. While this reflects the relative autonomy of
protect the use of this knowledge, and also to avoid a the First Nations, it leads to a certain inconsistencies for
situation in which a corpus of recorded and distributed the property overall that could be reviewed further in the
‘frozen’ tradition may partly substitute living tradition as future.
the basis of Anishinaabe identity.
The cultural landscapes of the partner communities
Threats may also come from the commercial heritage stretch beyond the nomination boundary, and those of
industry, ‘disneyfication’, or from substitution of genuine neighbouring non-partner First Nations partly overlap
Anishinaabe traditions by a “pan-Indian” contemporary with those inside. Thus there are likely to be elements
faith for therapeutic purposes (already occurring in some reflecting different values in the nominated area, and in
other areas). the buffer zone – especially along the cultural
waterways.

29
Exclusions to the nominated property include areas stated that regulatory approval would be needed under
within those of neighbouring First Nations where land the Environment Act, and authorization needed for the
use planning is pending, limited areas with presumed use and occupancy of Crown land. This implies that
low‐medium mineral potential, areas with potential for hydro-electric power lines do not form part of hydro-
commercial community‐based forestry, and small electric development which is not allowed by law. Such a
shoreline settlements and offshore islands in Lake loophole needs to be closed as high voltage power lines
Winnipeg. would be inappropriate within the Pimachiowin Aki
landscape and impact adversely on the attributes of the
The boundaries are thus not complete in terms of proposed Outstanding Universal Value.
encompassing the lands of all four First Nations.
However given the large area concerned, and the The four First Nation communities have strong traditional
information provided by the State Party concerning the mechanisms of protection that draw from the cultural
process by which the boundaries were determined, the tradition of Keeping the Land. The commitment to these
boundary is considered adequate. mechanisms and their expression led to the signing of
the First Nations Accord in 2002, which created the
The large buffer zone surrounding the property is impetus for developing the first nomination.
covered by multiple, complementary regulatory regimes
that buttress the community‐based land management In most cases the protection is primarily for nature
systems and is adequate. conservation but the park legislation allows cultural
heritage to be taken into account.
ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the nominated
property and of its buffer zone are adequate. Jurisdiction over public lands is in principle shared
between the federal government, the provincial
governments of Ontario and Manitoba and the four First
Ownership
Nations of the Accord. Aboriginal and Treaty rights are
All the nominated area is government owned.
protected under section 35(1) of Canada’s Constitution
Act, 1982. Treaty rights of the Pimachiowin Aki First
Protection
Nations are set out in Treaty 5 (1875). Federal or
The only federal designations in the nominated area is
provincial legislation that affects the exercise of
the designation of the Bloodvein River as a Canadian
Aboriginal or Treaty rights will be valid only if it meets the
Heritage River. Heritage protection for the nominated
test established by the Courts for justifying an
property takes place mainly under provincial rather than
interference with a right recognized and affirmed under
federal legislation. In addition there is supportive
s. 35(1).
“enabling legislation” at federal and provincial levels
relating to protecting species at risk, regulating
As the nominated area is divided by the provincial
resources and development, as well as to public
border, ensuring the effectiveness of protection requires
consultation on proposed land-uses.
a common management policy for the two provincial
governments. ICOMOS notes that plans are underway to
The vast majority (c. 99.98 %) of the nominated property
form an interprovincial park out of Atikaki and Woodland
is protected under provincial legislation that recognizes
Caribou parks, pointing the way to a cooperative
the designated protected areas identified in the First
management approach between the provinces.
Nation land use plans and provincial parks legislation
(provincial parks legislation applies to three provincial
ICOMOS considers that current levels of protection are
protected areas). The four First Nation settlements make
effective against foreseeable negative development
up the remainder of the nominated area (c. 0.02 %) and
impacts, although procedures for solving eventual
are covered by Canada’s Indian Act. Additional national
conflicts over land use and conservation remain
and provincial legislation applies, for example, to Lake
untested. Such conflicts could arise over hunting
Winnipeg, several rivers and with regards to specific
regulations, licences for tourism development or
terrestrial and aquatic species.
distribution of benefits.
The entire nominated area is protected from all
The buffer zone has some degree of protection and
commercial logging, mining, and the development of
neighbouring First Nations participate in land use
hydroelectric power, oil and natural gas. Similar
decision-making in its area.
protections cover the management areas of the buffer
zone. ICOMOS considers that the legal protection in place is
mainly adequate but needs to be strengthened to ensure
There does appear to be a possible loophole in the hydro-electric power lines are not constructed across the
legislation in relation to hydro-electric power lines. The property.
revised dossier mentions the possibility that if hydro-
electric generation capacity expand in the future new
transmission and conversion facilities may be required
within the nominated area. In such an eventuality, it is

30
Conservation ecosystems and species; supporting sustainable
The state of archaeological evidence is in general good. economies; informing and educating the public;
Typical archaeological sites along the watercourses are coordinating monitoring and reporting; and supporting
still easily identifiable in the landscape. Only a few of community-based initiatives. Proposed objectives and
them have yet been excavated. Wear and tear from actions enter a filtering process before becoming actions
tourism or traditional land uses is minimal. on an annual work plan. The Strategic Plan follows the
Adaptive Management Framework and Cycle presented
The pictographs, painted by red ochre with sturgeon oil within the nomination.
as binding agent appear in some cases to be of
prehistoric origin. The pictographs from different periods In terms decision-making, a unified process occurs at
have been extensively documented and studied. They the local level through traditional management
are mostly well preserved, considering that they are processes, and by First Nations and the provincial
found in places beneath the high water mark. The state governments through their respective land management
of preservation does however vary. and planning processes. The effectiveness of the
consensus-based and cross-cultural process system
In terms of other structures (traps, smoking racks, continues to be tested with successful outcomes.
marking poles etc.) modified landscapes (wild rice
paddies, burned-over grassy shores), most are The current fixed ‘trap line system’ to control hunting
ephemeral and the buildings (cabins, campsites) of fairly was introduced in the 1940s by the provincial
recent origin. In the community settlements some governments together with harvest quotas. It is based on
intrusive buildings and structures, such as relay masts, traditional tenure of families or groups of families. Prior
airstrips, sewage treatment plants or gravel pits may be to the trap line system, harvesting was not strictly
detected. However, due to the small size of the regulated, although harvesting areas were associated
communities their impact remains limited. with particular groups. Now a permit from the officially
registered head trapper is mandatory. The head trapper
Preservation of the natural environment allows for the is a non-hereditary position although often it remains
continuation of hunting, trapping and fishing, and this is within certain families. At the community level the Elders
well protected. have a decisive say in the control of traditional land use.
Besides them, there are elected councils and chiefs as
ICOMOS considers that the state of conservation of the well as community planners.
nominated property is satisfactory.
Policy framework: management plans and
arrangements, including visitor management
Management
and presentation
Management structures and processes, The property has an overall management plan that
including traditional management processes brings together key elements of the four First Nation land
use plans and the park management plans of the three
There are relatively few changes in the revised
provincial protected areas. The management plan and
nomination to the way the nominated property will be
series of legal protections uphold the practices
managed. The legislative processes of both provinces
associated with the traditional land management system
support land management planning by the First Nations.
embedded in Keeping the Land. The management plan
The application of traditional stewardship approaches in
is a high level plan and relates to more detailed planning
planning and decision-making is facilitated by the
for the designated protected areas including in the buffer
Pimachiowin Aki Corporation (representing all four First
zone for which those for the recently enlarged buffer
Nations and both provincial governments).
zone area are still underway.
Pimachiowin Aki and its traditional management
Since the first nomination, all of the community land use
continue to be interwoven and based on a commitment
and management plans have been approved as follows:
to the 2002 Protected Areas and First Nation Resource
Poplar River 2011, Bloodvein River 2008, Little Grand
Stewardship: A Cooperative Relationship Accord
Rapids 2012, Pauingassi 2012. Land use
founded on the principals and practice of Keeping the
plans/strategies have been approved/last amended as
Land.
follow: Little Grand Rapids 2011, Pauingassi 2011, and
Bloodvein 2014. There is also a Woodland Caribou
Individual Land Management Plans of each First Nation
Signature Site Management Plan approved in 2007 and
and provincial park partners inform the overall
an Atikaki Provincial Park Management Plan approved in
Pimachiowin Aki Management Plan.
2008.
This plan is now evolving into a Strategic Plan to guide
To clarify the management system, as it relates to
the effective delivery of core programmes, practice
decision making, ICOMOS requested the State Party to
excellent governance, and exercise financial
develop a statement which outlines the protocol for
sustainability. Core programmes include safeguarding
decision making. This reflected the slightly reactive focus
cultural heritage; conserving and understanding

31
of the overall management plan and acknowledged the some additional tangible heritage assets are less well
need to make it more proactive. understood, inventoried, and represented in the
nomination. The Pimachiowin Aki Corporation is
The plan could also be strengthened to address socio- undertaking further community based cultural research.
economic issues by promoting diversification and
strengthening of economies, and through the Key indicators are described in the nomination dossier
development of action plans to address specific aspects with timelines and responsible authorities. The indicators
such as visitor management, to ensure it is sustainable are for fire regimes, hydrology, intactness, species
in terms of the landscape and its spiritual associations, is diversity, community benefits (involvement in tourism),
under the control of the communities, and offers benefits public understanding and appreciation of culture
to them. (educational programmes, media stories, web traffic, and
info requests), governance / leadership (implementation
The effectiveness of the complex and integrated of land use plans), culture (language use and retention),
management system should be carefully monitored over archaeological sites (integrity of sites) and traditional
time. land use (level of trapping).

Financial support, independent of the operational ICOMOS considers that the key indicators are
budgets of the provincial parks and the supporting satisfactory.
network of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
and private local and regional businesses associated
with Pimachiowin Aki, comes from annual grants from
7 Conclusions
Manitoba and Ontario, substantial in‐kind support from
many of the partners, and a conservation trust fund.
The nomination of Pimachiowin Aki has been driven by
Additional funding from public and private sources is
the First Nations in order to achieve recognition of their
anticipated.
desire to sustain a living, working engagement with their
all-encompassing natural and ancestral landscapes, and
Involvement of the local communities
for their role in maintaining waterways and forests.
Involvement of the four First Nations totally underpins
this nomination. Since 2002, initially five First Nations of Pimachiowin
Aki, and more recently four, have come together to
While the overall approach for the management of the develop a cooperative First Nations Accord that aims to
property appears to be appropriate for the values of this strengthen mutual support. The Accord was
area, so far the integration is at a general level and subsequently extended to a partnership with provincial
needs to be made more specific. In order to allow the planning authorities that developed the nomination and
possibility of consensus at different levels over land use aims to develop alternative sources of income for the
planning and management, the management plan needs communities.
to harmonise zoning principles and concepts for land-
use in the various component plans and to provide more The strength of the Pimachiowin Aki partnership has
defined action plans. been demonstrated through the commitment and resolve
of the elders to revise and resubmit the nomination after
ICOMOS considers that the management system for the first deferral and then referral back decisions of the
property is adequate but the overall management plan World Heritage Committee.
should be developed further to address specific over-
arching themes such as socio-economic development, The main focus of the original nomination was to sustain
visitor management, and interpretation, and to provide the essential role that the Anishinaabeg play in
detailed action plans that harmonise zoning principles sustaining the Boreal Biome. As natural criteria cannot
and concepts for land-use in the various component acknowledge the cultural value of communities in
plans. supporting natural value, the World Heritage Committee
requested the State Party to explore whether the
spiritual relationship with nature that has persisted for
generations between the Anishinaabe First Nations and
6 Monitoring
Pimachiowin Aki, might be considered exceptional and
could be seen to have the potential to satisfy one or
Research activity has extensively documented the
more of the cultural criteria.
Anishinaabe oral history and place-related traditions
since the 1930s. More recently, place-related traditions
The second revised nomination did just that and put
have been collected in the context of First Nations land
forward detailed descriptions and discussion of the
use planning into GIS databases.
specific cultural heritage practices of the Anishinaabeg,
and how their profound respect for all living forms leads
While numerous examples of sacred and ceremonial
them to sustainable use of natural resources, and to
sites, habitation and processing sites, harvesting sites,
deriving spiritual succour from them.
travel routes, and named places are well inventoried,

32
In the second nomination, the comparative analysis 8 Recommendations
demonstrated that it is not only in Pimachiowin Aki that
the cultural concept of Keeping the Land is still resilient ICOMOS recommends that the World Heritage Committee
as a guiding force for communities, but it did also adopts the following draft decision, noting that this will be
showed how Pimachiowin Aki is an exceptional example harmonised as appropriate with the recommendations of IUCN
of the way one group of communities manifest this regarding their evaluation of this mixed site nomination under
the natural criteria and included in the working document
practice, in an extensive natural landscape of multi-
WHC/18/42.COM/8B.
layered forest, particularly through the use of waterways
and through perpetuating their traditions of customary
Recommendations with respect to inscription
governance. It also left open the possibility that other
ICOMOS recommends that Pimachiowin Aki, Canada,
landscapes reflecting different nuanced approaches of
be inscribed on the World Heritage List as a cultural
Keeping the Land might be considered for the World
landscape on the basis of cultural criteria (iii) and (vi).
Heritage list in the future.
Recommended Statement of
ICOMOS considers that the third nomination has
Outstanding Universal Value
demonstrated that a reduction in area resulting from the
withdrawal of one of the First Nations has impacted on
Brief synthesis
the extent and scope of attributes, but that the pervasive
tradition of Keeping the Land across each of the four Pimachiowin Aki, part of the ancestral lands of the
First Nation communities is sufficiently strong to allow it Anishinaabeg people at the headwaters of the Berens,
still to be seen as an exceptional manifestation of this Bloodvein, Pigeon and Poplar rivers, is an exceptional
practice. example of cultural tradition of Ji-ganawendamang
Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the Land) that involves
What has also become clear from the last two revised honouring the Creator’s gifts, observing respectful
nominations is that the Anishinaabeg could be interaction with aki (the land and all its life), and
characterised as water people rather than forest people, maintaining harmonious relations with other people.
as the waterways that cut through the forest are their
lifeblood in allowing fishing, hunting, trapping and also The forest landscape, dissected by free-flowing rivers,
some cultivation along the banks. The forest is the wider lakes and wetlands, includes portions of the lands of four
canvas of their activities, its resources used judiciously Anishinaabe First Nations: Bloodvein River, Little Grand
for medicine, for some hunting and nurtured through Rapids, Pauingassi, and Poplar River First Nations and
allowing wildfires that bring new plant life – all of which extends to 2,904,000 square kilometres. It encompasses
benefit the communities. slightly less than a quarter of the lands occupied by
Anishinaabeg peoples.
In terms of the long association of the Anishinaabeg with
the landscape, the nominations have raised the issue as The Anishinaabe world view of a symbiotic relationship
to whether there is evidence for the assertion that they between people and nature attributes animacy to objects
have been associated with the Pimachiowin Aki in the natural world giving meaning to peoples’
landscapes for over 7,000 years, as is suggested in the existence in this environment over time and through the
nomination dossiers. On the basis of archaeological seasons.
evidence, there has been habitation in the area from the
end of the last Ice Age. Historical evidence is less clear Today, within Pimachiowin Aki, Anishinaabeg are based
cut though on whether the same people have been in in four small permanent Anishinaabe communities, and
the area or there has been migration of various peoples they are highly mobile and make use of waterways and a
around the common Shield area over time (as discussed complex network of often impermanent interlinked sites,
above under History). routes and areas in this extensive natural landscape of
multi-layered forest, to harvest animals, plants and fish,
ICOMOS considers that as the Cree and Ojibwe are very consistent with their traditional practices and Treaty
closely related, including linguistically, as both are part of rights.
the entire Shield common area, and as both have lived
in the wider area over thousands of years, probably in an Ancient and contemporary livelihood sites, habitations
ever changing dynamic, with some groups living close to and processing sites, travel routes, named places, trap
each other and some further apart, then Pimachiowin Aki lines, widely dispersed across the landscape reflect the
could be said to be both Anishinaabe and Cree, with the way they and their Indigenous ancestors have made use
Anishinaabeg being the current ‘caretakers’. of this and adjacent landscapes for over 7,000 years,
Pimachiowin Aki was an area previously shared by the while being sacred and ceremonial sites.
Anishinaabeg and Cree, but, under the influence of the
western ideas of land ownership, it came to be assigned Pimachiowin Aki thus expresses an outstanding
to the Anishinaabeg. testimony to the beliefs, values, knowledge, and
practices of the Anishinaabeg that constitute Ji-
ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan; the persistence of

33
Anishinaabe customary governance ensures continuity Nations have developed over millennia through
of these cultural traditions across the generations. adaptation to the dynamic ecological processes of the
boreal forest, and appear to be ecologically sustainable.
Criterion (iii): Pimachiowin Aki provides an exceptional
testimony to the continuing Anishinaabe cultural tradition The vastness of Pimachiowin Aki and of its buffer zone
of Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the provides a sufficiently large area to enable the continuity
Land). Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan guides of the living cultural tradition of Ji-ganawendamang
relations between Anishinaabeg and the land; it is the Gidakiiminaan.
framework through which the cultural landscape of
Pimachiowin Aki is perceived, given meaning, used and The very limited infrastructure includes a few power
sustained across the generations. lines, seasonally functional winter roads, and the all-
season East Side Road (under construction). All of these
Widely dispersed across the landscape are ancient and are subject to numerous protections concerning
contemporary livelihood sites, sacred sites and named development.
places, most linked by waterways that are tangible
reflections of Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan. Authenticity

The ability of the landscape to reflect its value relates to


Criterion (vi): Pimachiowin Aki is directly and tangibly
the robustness of the cultural traditions that underpin
associated with the living tradition and beliefs of the
spiritual, social and economic interactions and their
Anishinaabeg, who understand they were placed on the
ability to function fully in relation to the adequacy of
land by the Creator and given all they need to survive.
natural resources, as well as to the necessary freedom
They are bound to the land and to caring for it through a
of movement needed for communities to respond to
sacred responsibility to maintain their cultural tradition of
changing seasons and environmental conditions.
Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the Land).

This involves ceremonies at specific sites to


Sites in the landscape (such as archaeological sites,
communicate with other beings, and respect for sacred
sacred sites, waterways and hunting and harvesting
places such as pictograph sites, Thunderbird nests, and
sites) remain in use to a degree that the landscape
places where memegwesiwag (little rock people) dwell,
reflects adequate interactions over time, and relates to
in order to ensure harmonious relations with the other
the ability of the Anishinaabe communities to maintain
spirit beings with whom Anishinaabeg share the land,
their traditions across their vast landscape.
and to maintain a productive life on the land.

In order to maintain authenticity, sustaining the resilience


The beliefs and values that make up Ji-ganawendamang
of these traditions will need to be an overt part of the
Gidakiiminaan are sustained by systems of customary
management of the property.
governance based on family structures and respect for
elders, and through vibrant oral traditions that are
Protection and Management requirements
tangibly associated with intimate knowledge of the land
through named places that serve as mnemonic prompts, Heritage protection for the property takes place under
including locations of resources, travel routes, and the provincial legislation. In addition there is supportive
history of Anishinaabe occupation and use. “enabling legislation” at federal and provincial levels
relating to protecting species at risk, regulating
The size of Pimachiowin Aki and the strength of these resources and development, as well as to public
traditions make it an exceptional example of a belief that consultation on proposed land-uses.
can be seen to be of universal significance.
The vast majority (c. 99.98 %) of the property is
Integrity protected under provincial legislation that recognizes the
designated protected areas identified in the First Nation
Pimachiowin Aki is of sufficient size to encompass all
land use plans and provincial parks legislation (provincial
aspects of Anishinaabe traditional livelihood activities,
parks legislation applies to three provincial protected
customary waterways, traditional knowledge of the
areas). The four First Nation settlements make up the
landscape and seasonal rounds of travel, for hunting,
remainder of the World Heritage area (c. 0.02 %) and
trapping, fishing and gathering, and sacred sites,
are covered by Canada’s Indian Act. Additional national
(although some of these extends beyond the
and provincial legislation applies, for example, to Lake
boundaries), and includes sufficient attributes necessary
Winnipeg, several rivers and with regards to specific
to convey its value.
terrestrial and aquatic species. In most cases the
protection is primarily for nature conservation but the
The key attributes are considered to be highly intact. The
provincial park legislation allows cultural heritage to be
whole property is protected from commercial logging,
taken into account.
mining, and hydroelectric development, and all its
waterways are free of dams and diversions. Patterns of
traditional use (fishing, gathering, hunting and trapping)
and veneration of specific sites by the Anishinaabe First

34
The entire World Heritage area is protected from all spiritual associations, is under the control of
commercial logging, mining, peat extraction, and the the communities, and offers benefits to them,
development of hydroelectric power, oil and natural gas.
Similar protections cover the management areas of the o Harmonising zoning principles for land-use in
buffer zone. the various component plans,

The four First Nation communities have strong traditional b) Ensure regular monitoring of the effectiveness of the
mechanisms of protection that draw from the cultural management plan as a proactive tool for the benefit
tradition of Keeping the Land as articulated in the First of communities,
Nations Accord, 2002.
c) Strengthen legal protection to ensure that
The legislative processes of both provinces support land hydroelectric power-lines do not cross the property;
management planning by the First Nations. The
application of traditional stewardship approaches in
planning and decision-making is facilitated by the
Pimachiowin Aki Corporation (representing all four First
Nations and both provincial governments).

The property has an overall management plan that


brings together key elements of the four First Nation land
use plans and the park management plans of the
provincial protected areas. The management plan and
series of legal protections uphold the practices
associated with the traditional land management system
embedded in Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan. The
management plan is a high level plan and it relates to
more detailed management plans and land use
strategies that are in place for the four First Nations’
areas.

The plan could be made more proactive and


strengthened to address socio-economic issues by
promoting diversification and support for local
economies, and through the development of action plans
for specific aspects such as visitor management, to
ensure it is sustainable in terms of the landscape and its
spiritual associations, is under the control of the
communities, and offers benefits to them.

The effectiveness of the complex and integrated


management system should be carefully monitored over
time.

Additional recommendations
ICOMOS further recommends that the State Party give
consideration to the following:

a) Continue to strengthen the overall management


plan, and make it more proactive by:

o Actively promoting and strengthening the


partnerships between communities and
provincial authorities,

o Addressing specific over-arching themes such


as socio-economic development, diversification
and support for local economies,

o Developing action plans for specific aspects


such as visitor management, to ensure it is
sustainable in terms of the landscape and its

35
Map showing the boundaries of the nominated property
Lake and “tea kettles”

Rock art
III Mixed properties
A Europe – North America
Nomination referred back by previous sessions
of the World Heritage Committee

B Latin America - Caribbean


New nomination
The State Party had withdrawn its nomination before
examination by the World Heritage Committee
Chiribiquete National Park (29 COM 8B.3).
(Colombia)
Consultations
No. 1174 ICOMOS consulted its International Scientific Committee
on Rock Art and several independent experts.

Technical Evaluation Mission


A joint ICOMOS / IUCN technical evaluation mission
Official name as proposed by the State Party
visited the property from 8 to 16 October 2017.
Chiribiquete National Park – “The Maloca of the Jaguar”

Additional information requested and received by


Location
ICOMOS
Townships of Cartagena del Chairá, San Vicente del
A letter was sent by ICOMOS on 22 September 2017 to
Caguán and Solano
the State Party, requesting additional information on the
Department of Caquetá
description of the property, the conditions of authenticity
Township of Calamar
and the comparative analysis. A reply was received on
Department of Guaviare
1 November 2017 and the information provided has
Colombia
been included in this report.
Brief description
An intermediate joint ICOMOS / IUCN report was sent to
Located in the north-western Colombian Amazon,
the State Party on 20 December 2017, requesting
Chiribiquete National Park is the largest protected zone
additional information on the justification of Outstanding
in Colombia. Dating from 20,000 BCE to the present
Universal Value, the comparative analysis,
day, 75,234 paintings have been identified on the walls
documentation and maps, the involvement of local
of 60 rock shelters at the foot of tepuis. Linked to a
communities and the rights of indigenous populations,
purported jaguar cult, scenes of hunting, battles, dances
financial resources and safety measures for the site. The
and ceremonies involving shamans are painted. The
State Party replied to these requests on
indigenous communities, although not directly present
27 February 2018. The information provided has been
on the site, consider the region as sacred. Chiribiquete is
included in the appropriate sections of this evaluation
today visited by voluntarily isolated indigenous groups
report.
who probably still paint the shelter walls.

Date of ICOMOS approval of this report


Category of property
14 March 2018
In terms of categories of cultural property, as defined in
Article One of the World Heritage Convention of 1972,
this is a site.
2 The property
[Note: The property is nominated as a mixed site (cultural and
natural). IUCN will assess the importance of the natural values, Description
and ICOMOS the importance of the cultural values.] Chiribiquete National Park is located in the central part
of the Colombian Amazon, straddling the departments of
Caquetá and Guaviare. It covers a surface area of
1 Basic data 2,782,354 hectares, to which the State Party added in
2013 a buffer zone of 3,989,682.82 hectares, giving a
Included in the Tentative List total surface area designated for nomination of more
27 September 2012 than 6 million hectares (6,772,036.82 ha to be precise).

International Assistance from the World Heritage The region is, however, sparsely populated. The
Fund for preparing the Nomination department of Caquetá is mainly occupied by indigenous
None communities of Andaquíes, Coreguajes, Karijonas,
Macaguales and Uitotos. The groups present speak
Date received by the World Heritage Centre languages from some twenty different linguistic families.
31 January 2017
The natural environment of Chiribiquete National Park is
Background typically Amazonian, and is extremely rich in terms of
The property had been submitted for examination by the biodiversity. But one of the most significant
29th session of the World Heritage Committee (Durban, characteristics of Chiribiquete National Park, perhaps
2005), under the name “Serranía de Chiribiquete Natural more than its fauna and flora, is the presence of tepuis.
National Park”, on the basis of criteria (i), (iii), (vi), (vii), Tepuis (“tepui” is a word of indigenous American origin
(viii) and (x). signifying “mountain”) are limestone table-top mountains
with vertical or sharply-sloping faces, which dominate

36
the Amazonian forest. At Chiribiquete, there are more jaguar, of larger dimensions, is said to be the central
than 75,234 pictographs identified today on the walls of figure of the compositions, unlike the schematic
60 rock shelters of different sizes, around the feet of the anthropomorphic representations that are in most cases
tepuis. armed. Circles and spirals on the abdomens of the
human figures are interpreted as being a symbol of the
The largest concentration of documented shelters is in sun and of the life force of the jaguar, and referring to
the northern part of the park, especially in the zone near Malaké ritual. Representations of psychotropic plants
the River Ajáju and its tributary, the River Negro. Rock assumed to be associated with the shamanic ritual are
art sites have also been identified, though fewer in also present.
number, in the centre and south of the national park.
Most of the rock shelters studied have a north-south Practices of these types, documented by rock art, are
orientation. Some have apparently been painted to face said to reflect a coherent system of millennia-long
the rising sun, and others the setting sun, which is sacred beliefs, establishing the organisation of and
interpreted in the nomination dossier as having explaining the relations between the cosmos, nature and
cosmogonic value. Most of the shelters are situated in man. Many specific areas in the region are held to be
the middle part of the rocky scarp slopes at an altitude of sacred by several populations. In the oral traditions of
500 to 700 metres. the Karijonas, Andoques, Uitotos, Cabiyaríes, Yukunas,
Matapís, Bora-mirañas, Tanimukas, Kubeos, Desanas
Although red mineral colorant provides the dominant and Tukanos there are references to Chiribiquete as the
colour, ochre, white and black also appear in some “Casa Grande de los Animales” (Great Home of the
figures. There are also several rock engravings. They Animals) and its sacred and mythical nature. The
include geometric figures (some of which are interpreted nominated property is surrounded by seven indigenous
as representations of the sun, the moon, and the reserves. In the additional information provided on
constellations, including the Milky Way), zoomorphic 1 November 2017, the State Party stresses that there is
representations (in order of importance: jaguar, deer, not necessarily any direct interaction between the
tapir and capybaras), and in some cases therianthropic nearby indigenous reserves and the nominated property
representations (mythical beings that are part-human or the rock art sites. The communities in the reserves
and part-animal, and are interpreted in the dossier as consider the property and its tepuis as sacred places:
shamans), as well as objects and plants (which are no-one can interfere with them or visit them, even in their
assumed in the dossier to be psychotropic). It is thoughts, without giving rise to serious spiritual
noticeable that the animal figures are often larger and consequences.
more detailed than the human ones, who are, in most
cases, armed and relatively small. The scenes portrayed Furthermore, Chiribiquete is still today visited by
are interpreted as hunts, battles, dances and indigenous groups who have not yet been contacted.
ceremonies, all of which are linked to a purported cult of According to the datings, fragments of cave paintings
the jaguar, as a symbol of power and fertility. Other have been found in very recent layers, from the second
predominant features of the ritual are the figure of the half of the second millennium AD (although this raises
shaman, the psychotropic plants associated with the the issue of the limits of carbon 14 dating). The latest
ceremonies, and cosmogonic figures (the sun and the scientific expeditions in 2015 and 2016 led to the
moon). discovery of very recent cave paintings, ritual burners
and human footprints, clearly of indigenous origin. The
Archaeological excavations, described in the dossier as nomination dossier attributes these traces to indigenous
directly associated with the rock paintings, have enabled populations who remain voluntarily isolated in the forest.
49 radiocarbon datings. The datings were used as the Research suggests that these isolated groups could be
basis for the drawing up of a proposed chronological Karijona, between the Rivers Ajáju and Macaya; a
sequence of 20,000 years up to the present day. While Karijona or Murui group, between the Rivers Luisa and
the “Abrigo del Arco” site has been dated to Yarí; an Urumi group in the upper reaches of the Rivers
19,500 BCE, the other datings are more recent, mainly Mirití, Yavilla and Metá; and a Murui group, between the
covering three periods: 5500-1500 BCE, 2500- Rivers Cuemaní and Sainí. In the additional information
1200 BCE, and 700-600 BCE. Only a few archaeological provided on 1 November 2017, the State Party suggests
remains have been uncovered, most coming from upper that these communities may live near the nominated
levels and thus from more recent occupations of the property and not inside it, without there being any causal
sites. They consist of pottery shards and polished stone relationship between the recent pictorial activities and
axes, attributed to the Karijona people, of Karib linguistic the isolated groups.
affiliation.
In response to the ICOMOS request, the State Party
In view of the pictorial originality of the property, a says the area of the traditional knowledge of the jaguar
specific Chiribiquete stylistic tradition has been defined. shamans of Yuruparí, included in the Representative List
It is characterised by three phases (Ajáju, Guaviare and of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, extends
Papamene). During the Ajáju phase, dated at 20,000- up to the eastern boundaries of the nominated property.
10,000 BCE, the zoomorphic and phytomorphic Yuruparí rituals are still today observed in two reserves
representations are highly realistic and detailed. The of indigenous people in the buffer zone (Nonuya de

37
Villazul and Mirití-Paraná). ICOMOS notes that In the middle of the 18th century, a group of Franciscan
ethnographic research must be undertaken to determine missionaries recorded their first meetings with members
the relations that exist between the indigenous of the Karijona near the River Apaporis. Later, in 1782,
communities of the nominated property and the buffer Francisco Requena, a Spanish engineer and military
zone and the traditional knowledge of the jaguar official, explored the Rivers Cumaré, Mesai, Amú and
shamans of Yuruparí (its preservation, its practice and Yarí, and stated that the number of Karijonas in the area
its transmission). was close to 15,000. But the most accurate
characterisation of this group was made by the German
ICOMOS stresses that the problem is the lack of datable doctor, naturalist and anthropologist Karl Friedrich
organic elements in the paintings, which means they Philipp von Martius, who explored the southern section
cannot be directly dated. The nomination dossier of Chiribiquete (near Araracuara) in 1810. He said that
mentions a painted rock fragment which fell from the wall the Karijonas lived in the high parts of the tepuis.
and was found in the sediments, which has been dated
to 20,000 BCE in the “Abrigo del Arco II”. ICOMOS Rubber extraction marked the beginning of colonisation
considers that doubt may surround this single dating, processes in the townships of Solano, Cartagena del
particularly in view of the risks of disturbance of the Chairá, San Vicente del Caguán and Calamar, from
archaeological context. ICOMOS notes that the 1850 to 1890. As production diminished, the colonisers
chronological attribution of the paintings and the went downriver. In the case of Calamar, the earliest
assertion of a continuous cave art sequence have not settlers occupied the land on the Unilla and Itilla rivers.
been satisfactorily demonstrated. The dating of around These settlements became the colonisation fronts
20,000 BCE for the “Abrigo del Arco II” paintings still closest to Chiribiquete. At the time, the Karijona lived on
needs to be confirmed by other datings. the banks of the Cuñaré, Mesay, Amú and Yarí rivers.
Fleeing the rubber plantations, some groups of
In the additional information, the State Party stresses Karijonas, Yacunas and Uitotos moved upstream on the
that recent excavations at the foot of painted walls at La Yari River and took refuge in the Chiribiquete area.
Lindosa, near Chiribiquete, have indicated dates of Following rebellions, the Karijonas were displaced in the
between 12,045 BCE and 320 BCE, although it has not early 20th century by Colombian and Peruvian rubber
been possible to link the rock art to the archaeological tappers. Theodor Koch-Grünberg, the German
sequence. The State Party says that other dating ethnologist, described the first struggles that took place
techniques will be used to confirm this hypothesis, in 1903. The members of the indigenous clans were
particularly rock art archaeomagnetic dating. killed or enslaved.

ICOMOS considers that, on the basis of the information The site of Chiribiquete was discovered relatively
currently available, the thesis of a specific local cultural recently, only thirty years ago. When flying over the area
tradition, to which the paintings and the pre-eminent in 1986, Carlos Castaño-Uribe (Director of the National
position of the jaguar in the art of Chiribiquete bear Park System of Colombia) noticed a mountain range that
witness, needs to be confirmed. In the additional did not appear on the map. As a result, the “Serranía de
information, the State Party notes that ethnographic Chiribiquete” was declared a national park on
surveys will take place in the buffer zone, particularly 21 September 1989, and then the first expeditions to the
with Maku-Nukak groups. territory were organised (eight expeditions from 1991 to
2017). It was then that an inventory of the rock shelters
History and development containing art was drawn up. The first shelter, located on
In the nomination dossier, Chiribiquete is described as the Ajáju River, was named “Abrigo de los jaguares”
one of the earliest sites of human settlement in South (Shelter of the Jaguars) and other shelters were then
America, and the greatest concentration of pictographs studied.
in the Amazon, and indeed in the Americas, with
75,234 paintings. Dating from 20,000 BCE onwards, the
cave art sequence is said to be continuous, and 3 Outstanding Universal Value, integrity
attributable today to Karib communities (Karijona) living and authenticity
in the outskirts of the park. Over the last millennium, the
Karijona are said to have migrated from their original Comparative analysis
Guyanese territory to settle in the northwestern Amazon. The State Party compares the nominated property to
other rock art sites on the World Heritage List, of which
In the mid-16th century, the area was subject to early 30 are presented in a comparative table. Of the thirty
colonisation and expeditions motivated by the search for sites, four are briefly presented and compared to
El Dorado. One such expedition was led by Philipp von Chiribiquete: Kakadu National Park (Australia), Rock Art
Hutten, of German origin, who reached the Serranía of of the Sierra of San Francisco (Mexico), Cueva de las
Chiribiquete in 1537, where he was repelled by the Manos (Argentina) and the National Park of Serra da
Karijona at the upper River Itilla. According to reports, Capivara (Brazil). Although not included in the
hallucinating and sick, he saw in the distance a town comparative table, the Facatativá Archaeological Park
with temples and palaces, which he took to be El (Colombia) is also briefly described. With the exception
Dorado. His vision was in fact of Chiribiquete. of Serra da Capivara, none of these sites is directly

38
compared with the nominated property. • The property is considered to be a sacred
ceremonial site and the centre of the world for
At the request of ICOMOS, the State Party compares, in communities of more than twenty indigenous
the additional information provided in February 2018, the linguistic families of the western Amazon basin,
nominated property with Serra da Capivara and Brazilian independently of their linguistic affiliation.
rock art sites attributable to the Nordeste tradition. The References to the property have also been found in
State Party highlights the stylistic, thematic and cultural the ethnography of extinct ethnic groups.
links with one of its sub-traditions (Seridó), which it • The property is a centre of cultural expression,
considers to be related to the Ajáju phase of education and dissemination of ecological and
Chiribiquete. The distribution of these rock pictographs is cultural knowledge for the western Amazon and
said to be linked to the same cultural group. perhaps also a site influencing other sites outside
Amazonia and in the Guyanese Basin.
ICOMOS points out that the number of declared sites for • The property represents one of the rare cases in
the Serra da Capivara in Brazil is roughly 300, which is which nomadic indigenous communities still live
considerably more than the number of sites in the there today, voluntarily isolated and without contact
Chiribiquete area. Although the creators of the with the modern world, and make rock paintings of
pictographs and the period from which they date are still pictographs reflecting ancient rituals with profound
open to question, ICOMOS notes that this comparison of cosmogonic implications.
the rock art sites attributable to the Nordeste tradition
does point to stylistic, thematic and cultural links. The chronological attribution of the paintings and the
assertion of the existence of a sequence of rock art led
ICOMOS notes that it is hard to fully assess the ICOMOS to request that the State Party should revise its
specificity of Chiribiquete in relation to the Brazilian sites, justification of Outstanding Universal Value, avoiding
which have been closely studied for decades, because wording such as “the most ancient” and “the only one in
the state of research of the Colombian site is relatively the world”, and the State Party has done so. In the
recent. additional information provided on 27 February 2018, the
State Party has also stated that other dating techniques
The importance of a region from the viewpoint of rock art will be used to confirm this hypothesis.
is not only measured by the number of sites it contains,
but also by the quality of the information they can give ICOMOS considers that the justification of Outstanding
us, by their artistic value, and – in rare cases such as Universal Value is appropriate.
Chiribiquete - by their role in the life of local
communities. Integrity and authenticity

ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis Integrity


justifies consideration of this property for the World
The State Party reports that the property has been
Heritage List.
maintained in optimum condition in terms of
conservation, as a result of its isolated location and the
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value fact that ancestral cultural rules have restricted access
The nominated property is considered by the State Party and the painting of rock art. The sacred nature of the
to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a mixed property has ensured a high level of territorial isolation
property for the following reasons relating to its cultural over a very extended area, and this sacred status has
value: not been disputed by any of the indigenous communities
in the areas on the edge of the property. The State Party
• The nominated property and its rock art sites are stresses that as the dynamics of peasant agricultural
characteristic of a biodiversity that is specific to the penetration have been restricted, the rock art sites have
western Amazon basin, the Orinoco Basin and the remained inaccessible. All the sites documented during
Guyanese Basin. the scientific expeditions are intact and untouched,
• The rock art is of great artistic, technical and except for present-day pictorial representations, which
cosmogonic value, and bears witness to the are probably attributable to indigenous communities
indigenous communities that have occupied the living in isolated areas inside the property boundaries.
Amazon for millennia. The original rules and laws of the indigenous groups
• The rock art is associated with the earliest periods of restricting access to the property, combined with the
human settlement in South America, perhaps around conservation measures devised by the State Party,
20,000 BCE, with several subsequent periods of use. mean that its integrity will continue to be protected.
• The rock art at Chiribiquete embodies a specific local
cultural tradition. It bears witness to ancient In the additional information provided on
shamanic practices closely linked to the regional 27 February 2018, the State Party states that the
flora and fauna, and particularly to the jaguar, as a boundaries of the nominated property include the most
symbol of power, fertility and strength. significant natural and cultural attributes for the
transmission of the proposed Outstanding Universal

39
Value, while making due allowance for the autonomy of Amazonian forest, and where the same cultural tradition
the indigenous groups in the buffer zone and the continues to be passed on by communities who have
agreements concluded with them. The State Party had no contact with modern society, or who voluntarily
indicates that the SPNN (System of National Natural live in an isolated location. The rock art is of great
Parks), the ICANH (Colombian Institute of Anthropology artistic, technical and cosmogonic value, and bears the
and History) and the Colombian armed forces are traces of ancient shamanic rituals of the north-west
collaborating with each other to maintain control of the Amazon. The iconographic inventory, dominated by the
property, and protect its buffer zone from deforestation allegorical figure of the jaguar, and its archaeological
and invasive production practices. context, makes the property an illustration of the
nomadic lifestyle of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers, and is
The strategies implemented include the promotion of particularly focused on the interaction between
eco-tourism in the neighbouring region of La Lindosa, as humankind and its environment.
a way of easing pressure from tourism inside the park;
the creation and enlargement of reserves for indigenous ICOMOS considers that the first inhabitants of the
groups; and the introduction of sustainable development Amazon practised their art on the rock walls of
practices in peasant communities living near the buffer Chiribiquete. These ancient paintings bear exceptional
zone. witness to their world vision. Chiribiquete is today still
considered sacred by several groups, and it is
ICOMOS notes that the total surface area of the designated as the mythical “Home of the Animals”.
nominated property and buffer zone enables satisfactory
preservation of its integrity. No infrastructure has been ICOMOS notes that the site is outstanding because of
built and none is planned. the rare qualities both of the natural environment and of
the human art: the rare tepui rock formation; the large
ICOMOS considers that the conditions of integrity have number of painted rock shelters; the diversity of the
been met. motifs, which are often realistic; the chronological depth
and persistence up to the present day of the purported
frequentation and use of the sites by isolated
Authenticity
communities.
The nominated sites are authentic in terms of their
design and their materials, their situation and their ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified.
setting, their function and the associated spiritual
traditions, which are still extant today.
ICOMOS considers that the nominated property meets
ICOMOS considers that the chronological attribution of the conditions of integrity and authenticity, and meets
the paintings, and the assertion that they constitute a criterion (iii).
continuous rock art sequence, will need to be confirmed
in the future, in view of the dating problem described Description of the attributes
earlier. This does not mean, however, that the rock art The attributes expressing the Outstanding Universal
itself is not authentic, but only that there are questions Value of the property are the rock art sites, their artistic
about the ways in which the rock art should be value, their role in the life of local communities and their
interpreted. landscape environment. More than 75,234 rock
pictographs have today been identified on the walls of
ICOMOS considers that the conditions of authenticity 60 rock shelters of various dimensions at the foot of the
have been met. tepuis. The other archaeological sites in the inventory
(particularly the ancient malocas or community houses,
and the “Amazonian dark earth” sites that are vestiges of
ICOMOS considers that the conditions of integrity and a buried occupation surface which is rich in carbon and
authenticity have been met. organic matter, on which a deposit of waste has
accumulated) are also associated with the values of the
Criteria under which inscription is proposed nominated property.
The property is nominated on the basis of cultural
criterion (iii) and natural criteria (viii), (ix) and (x).
4 Factors affecting the property
Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional
testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which The development pressures include the sporadic
is living or which has disappeared; incursion of tourists without the required authorisation
This criterion has been revised by the State Party and it around the northern (Cerro Campano) and south-eastern
is justified by the notion that the nominated property, boundaries (Puerto Abeja) of the property, and the
associated with the first periods of human settlement in presence of settlers near the River Apaporis suspected
South America, bears witness to the creative genius of of looking for new areas for the growing of illicit crops. In
the first inhabitants of the Amazon. It is one of the rare the buffer zone, the main areas of deforestation are in
examples of rock art with tepuis in the midst of the the Meta-Guaviare and San José del Guaviare-

40
Calamar sectors. ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property
are development pressures in or near the buffer zone,
The north and south-west sectors (Caguán axis) are and tourism.
affected by illegal activities (conversion of forests into
prairies to be sold off, conversion of forested zones into
pasture for the extensive rearing of cattle, illegal alluvial
5 Protection, conservation and
mining, coca growing and subsistence crop growing),
and by legal activities actively encouraged by the State management
(exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons,
construction of a section of the “Marginal de la Selva” Boundaries of the nominated property and buffer
trunk road, and the granting of mining permits). Amongst zone
these concerns, the most critical is the extension of the The boundaries of the nominated property follow natural
settlement fronts in the northern sectors (townships of topographic features. The property is divided into several
Calamar, El Retorno and San José del Guaviare, in the management zones, each with distinct conservation
department of Guaviare), the Caguán axis (township of objectives, based on the proven presence of isolated
Guaviare) and the Caguán axis (township of Cartagena indigenous communities, the most restrictive zoning
del Chairá, in the department of Caquetá). (intangible zones 1, 2 and 3), or based on its
archaeological or ecological potential (primitive zones 1,
Landslides on the banks of the rivers in the property are 2, 3 and 4). A final category (high use density or HD
frequent, and are caused by flow dynamics and the zone) is linked to the infrastructure needed for logistical
sandy soil. From an archaeological viewpoint (rock art), and operational support of research projects developed
this phenomenon can be considered as a factor of in the protected area.
instability and deterioration, given the characteristics of
the crystalline and sand subsoil of the tepuis, which – in The buffer zone includes the immediate environment of
some places – have large accumulations of rocks whose the nominated property and contains seven indigenous
stability could potentially be affected by telluric reserves.
movements of magnitude.
It should be emphasised that, on the map of sites and
Tourists occasionally visit the protected area without zones of cultural interest, two archaeological sites
official authorisation, either by air (aircraft or helicopters (sector 2), and several potential rock art zones (sectors
rented at Villavicencio and San José del Guaviare) or by 3, 4 et 5), are located in the buffer zone.
river (via the northern sector of Cerro Campana de
Calamar or via the south-eastern sector from Araracuara ICOMOS encourages the State Party to subdivide the
to Solano). Such visits do not include rock art sites in buffer zone into sectors, as proposed in the
areas that are remote and hard to access. Nevertheless, management plan and as already done for the
they constitute a threat for isolated indigenous nominated property, so as to combat potential pressures
communities. To lessen this phenomenon, the national and threats linked to the advance of the agricultural
natural parks have begun to introduce control and frontier, illegal extraction activities, non-authorised
surveillance procedures in the airspace of the property. tourism and road building.

ICOMOS considers that the isolation of the property, and ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the nominated
its relative inaccessibility, are relative guarantees of its property and the buffer zone are adequate.
preservation. Although they are not currently taking
place, potential exploitation of hydrocarbons and mining, Ownership
along with other factors, such as intensive deforestation The nominated property belongs to the Colombian State.
to enable farming or direct colonisation, could affect the
property, and should not be underestimated. Protection
The property was declared a national park by virtue of
ICOMOS notes that the region in which the nominated Agreement no. 0045 of 21 September 1989 by the
property lies has traditionally been used for illicit growing Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development
of coca. In view of the official disarmament of the (formerly INDERENA), and then approved by the
Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), ICOMOS Ministry of Agriculture (Executive Resolution No. 120).
considers that the region in which the nominated The initially protected area, in the departments of
property lies is engaged in a peace process, and that Guaviare and Caquetá, had a surface area of
armed conflict no longer limits the protection of the buffer 1,298,955 ha.
zone. The region has a set of integrated strategies
aimed at ensuring the governance of the region and The buffer zone consists entirely of indigenous reserves
offering socio-productive alternatives for inhabitants so and the Amazonia Forest Reserve. The zones
as to combat deforestation and illicit crop growing. surrounding the protected area are a Type A Forest
Reserve in which mining is prohibited (Resolution No.
1518 of 2012, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and
the Ministry of Mines).

41
In 2013, the boundaries of the nominated property were should be stressed that, in the first nomination dossier
extended towards the townships of Cartagena del (submitted in 2004), an inventory of 43 rock art sites,
Chairá, San Vicente del Caguán and Solano in Caquetá, containing some 20,000 paintings, had been drawn up.
and Calamar in Guaviare, by some 1,483,399 ha, more The additional information provided by the State Party
than doubling the total surface area to 2,782,354 ha indicates a new inventory of 60 sites, containing
(Resolution no. 1038 of the Ministry of Environment and 75,234 pictographs. The 17 rock art sites recently
Sustainable Development). inventoried and updated thus contain some 55,234
previously unseen paintings and engravings (more than
ICOMOS notes that the local communities whose double the number of the first inventory), which means
territories lie in the buffer zone still follow the traditional these are major sites of the greatest importance.
forms of organisation that have ensured the protection
and conservation of the property over a long period of In the additional information, the State Party indicates
time. that some rock art sites have been studied directly on-
site, and that others have only been studied by aerial
ICOMOS considers that a form of combined protection, survey, because of access difficulties. ICOMOS notes
incorporating both traditional and institutional forms of that it is necessary to know whether the sites inspected
stewardship, would be a very important advantage in by helicopter have subsequently been studied directly
terms of ensuring the involvement of local populations on-site. If this is not the case, the inventory method used
and increasing their awareness and their participation in to count the rock art pictographs must be stated
the safeguarding and management of the nominated (particularly in the case of panels bearing several
property. thousand paintings).

ICOMOS considers that the legal protection in place and The additional information states that high-resolution
that the traditional protection measures for the property photographs have been taken to document the rock art
are adequate. sites, and that a georeferenced data-base of Colombian
archaeological sites can be consulted online. While
welcoming these new initiatives, ICOMOS notes that a
Conservation
more detailed inventory must be drawn up as a basis for
The State Party considers that the nominated property
monitoring and conservation, in view of the complexity
has been maintained in a very good state of
and number of rock art pictographs indicated for some
conservation because of its geographical isolation and
sites (some 8500 for the Los Lagunas site alone).
the absence of external human intrusion. Apart from
non-contacted groups who probably still produce
ICOMOS considers that the photographic
paintings, the indigenous groups of the region stay away
documentation, as it stands, is inadequate as a rock art
from the property because of its sacred status. The sites
inventory. It is important that the photographs be
have not been affected by any anthropogenic alteration,
processed using a computer graphics system so as to
but the international recognition of the site could give
create a systematic survey, as an inaccurate or partial
rise to a problematic increase in tourism.
inventory may lead to interpretations that are open to
question, or to overinterpretation of a pictograph or of an
The State Party has adopted a non-intervention policy so
entire site.
as not to interfere with the significance of the sites for
indigenous communities. Decree Law 4633 of 2011
ICOMOS notes that the archaeological research has
stipulates that “indigenous peoples in initial contact have
concentrated on the north-western sector, particularly in
the right to live freely and according to their culture in
the tepui zones. The forested lowlands have remained
their ancestral territories”. Other legal regulations
totally unexplored. In the additional information, the
provide further support for the fundamental rights of
State Party indicates that archaeological investigations
indigenous peoples, particularly the self-determination of
are planned in the central and southern zones of the
voluntarily isolated peoples (Decree law 2333 of 2014,
nominated property, and in its buffer zone. Ethnographic
National Development Plan 2014-2018, Caquetá
surveys are also planned in the buffer zone.
Department Development Plan 2016-2019). ICOMOS
considers that this approach is adequate, although
ICOMOS notes that the research would benefit from a
appropriate monitoring is necessary.
multi-disciplinary and international approach and
recommends that the “Strategic Priorities and Guidelines
An exhaustive list of conservation priorities has thus
for archaeological and ethnographic research” drawn up
been drawn up, setting out the main intrinsic qualities of
by the ICANH (20 May 2016) be used as a basis for the
the property.
monitoring and conservation of the property, particularly
for the preparation of a more detailed inventory of the
ICOMOS notes that few details have been provided
archaeological sites.
about the elements of the property that have been
documented, or about where the inventories are kept. In
response to a request by ICOMOS, the State Party has
stated that the archaeological investigations carried out
cover roughly 10% to 15% of the nominated property. It

42
ICOMOS considers that the state of conservation of the coordinate the conservation of the southern sector of the
property is satisfactory. ICOMOS recommends that the property; the prevention of possible contact between the
“Strategic Priorities and Guidelines for archaeological local non-indigenous communities and other external
and ethnographic research” drawn up by the ICANH be agents, on one hand, and members of isolated
used as a basis for the monitoring and conservation of communities, on the other; the implementation of an
the property, particularly for the preparation of a more inter-institutional coordination strategy concerning the
detailed inventory of the archaeological sites. possible negative impacts on the property of illegal
activities in the buffer zone; the continuation of
archaeological research as a key factor for amplifying
Management
the management and zoning measures.
Management structures and processes, including
ICOMOS notes that the management of the protected
traditional management processes
area has to deal with transformations linked to the
The property is administered by the SPNN (System of advance of the agricultural frontier towards the property,
National Natural Parks). The authority in charge of the the development of illegal extraction activities,
archaeological sites is ICANH (Colombian Institute of unauthorised tourism, and road building on the edge of
Anthropology and History). To ensure their conservation, the buffer zone. Actions to put an end to these activities
their monitoring is based on the principle of minimum are carried out in conjunction with the competent
intervention and the safeguarding of the transmission of authorities, under the supervision of the Ministry of the
ancestral knowledge. Environment, as part of the Visión Amazonia strategy,
an initiative conducted by the Colombian government
Policy framework: management plans and with international cooperation organisations to reduce
arrangements, including visitor management and deforestation in Amazonia by 2020, and encourage a
presentation model of sustainable development, with low carbon
emissions, for the region.
A management plan, drawn up by the System of
National Natural Parks of Colombia, is in place for the
Tourism, including eco-tourism, is not currently
period 2016-2020. Two aspects are prioritised. The first
authorised inside the property. The activities that are
is the overlapping of the Chiribiquete National Park with
authorised are primarily protection, research and
territories that are not recognised as reserves. The
monitoring. As part of its tourism strategy, the State
second is the overlapping with territories that are non-
Party has proposed the site of La Lindosa in the north, in
contacted or in voluntary isolation. For this purpose,
an effort to prevent visitors from entering Chiribiquete
concertation efforts have been undertaken with the
and its buffer zone. Covered by the global management
seven indigenous reserves situated in the buffer zone of
process of the nominated property, the site of La
the nominated property. In the additional information, the
Lindosa has similar characteristics and similar natural
State Party points out that a unanimous consensus was
and cultural values.
obtained in July 2017.

ICOMOS considers that, if the inscription of the


As there are no direct pressures inside the property, a
nominated property gave rise to an increase in tourist
large proportion of the management is implemented in
numbers, negative collateral effects would be possible
the buffer zone by the System of National Natural Parks
for non-contacted indigenous groups. ICOMOS
and ICANH (Colombian Institute of Anthropology and
recommends that the preventive measures in place
History). The management of the buffer zone is intended
should be strictly applied.
in particular to prevent the extension of zones of
settlement - south of Meta, north of Guaviare and in the
The State Party indicates that the total budget allocated
foothills of Caquetá and Putumayo – up to the protected
to property management was US$157,480 in 2016. The
zone, which includes the Amazonian Forest Reserve in
State Party stresses that it would be able to grant
the departments of Guaviare and Caquetá. The State
additional funds, doubling this budget. The nomination
Party has recently taken significant legal steps to protect
dossier states that the main focus of the Visión
the isolated indigenous communities in the region.
Amazonia project is Chiribiquete National Park. This
project, which is funded with a subsidy of
According to the nomination, the management plan
US$10.4 million, has the support of the Global
strategies are as follows: the implementation of an inter-
Environment Facility and international donors.
institutional coordination strategy at national, regional
and local level for the objectives of conservation of the
Involvement of the local communities
property and the definition of its role in land
management and public policy in the Colombian The property continues to be revered and frequented
Amazon; the implementation of an environmental today by indigenous groups, both in the buffer zone
management strategy for the Amazonian Forest Reserve (inside and outside the indigenous reserves) and,
in the property’s buffer zone; the implementation of a according to the nomination dossier, probably inside the
joint strategy between the System of National Natural property boundaries. The indigenous communities in the
Parks (SPNN) and the indigenous authorities to environs have identified several hills, mountains and

43
rivers as sacred places that must be preserved. 6 Monitoring
Furthermore, non-contacted groups are believed to
occasionally visit the rock shelters to paint motifs. The The State Party has drawn up a protocol for monitoring
property thus embodies a living indigenous American and evaluating the state of conservation of the rock art in
world. the national park, based on the study of some thirty rock
shelters between 2015 and 2017. The structure of the
ICOMOS notes that the involvement and participation of protocol is currently being established, and the protocol
the communities in the buffer zone who are concerned is being experimentally applied to the rock shelters
by the nomination process are essential. The examined over the last 20 months. It evaluates the
management of the property includes respect for possible effects of natural threats (referring to
customary practices with regard to access to the hydrological, climatic, geochemical, geomorphological,
property, and indicates in detail the actions under way geophysical and biological components), anthropogenic
and recent actions to safeguard this knowledge and the threats (tourism, mining, construction, agriculture and
sacred status of the property, as defined by the Amazon livestock), and can provide an estimation of the degree
Area Directorate in the management scenarios for the of impact (current and potential) on a scale from 1
protected areas of the national natural parks (DTAM, (lowest magnitude) to 5 (highest magnitude). For
2011). example, the monitoring of the deterioration of rock art
by insects provides a key indicator for the measurement
In the additional information, the State Party emphasises of the state of conservation of the rock art at microscopic
that the indigenous reserves in the buffer zone have level. This type of surveillance supplements the large-
been directly involved by means of a collective process scale surveillance of the conservation of the property.
of analysis and reflection, and have expressed strong
support for the nomination process. In the additional information, the State Party indicates
that a minimum intervention strategy has been adopted,
ICOMOS considers that the indigenous communities in view of the state of conservation of the rock art
play an important role in the protection of Chiribiquete. In pictographs and the fact that Chiribiquete is reportedly
a territory as huge as that covered by the nominated still visited today by non-contacted indigenous groups.
property and its buffer zone, it is hard to arrive at a
consensus, particularly because of the guerrilla activity ICOMOS considers that the monitoring system is
that took place in the region until just a few years ago.
adequate.

ICOMOS emphasises that in this process, it is necessary


to support the indigenous and non-indigenous
communities who live in the region. Local populations 7 Conclusions
need economic alternatives to illicit crops and to other
practices that are a threat to forest conservation. ICOMOS considers that the nominated property meets
ICOMOS considers that a basic socio-economic study is the conditions of integrity and authenticity, and meets
necessary to evaluate the needs of the local cultural criterion (iii). ICOMOS considers that the
communities situated in the buffer zone. comparative analysis justifies consideration of this
property for the World Heritage List.
ICOMOS notes that the peace process must be
consolidated, for it will be impossible to develop eco- International recognition of the property could have a
tourism and cultural tourism in a region which is not profound impact on the nature of the property and above
secure. all on the well-being of the non-contacted groups living in
the surrounding areas. Although the State Party is aware
of the dangers that pose a particular threat to isolated
ICOMOS considers that the management system for the
indigenous groups, ICOMOS notes that the preventive
property is adequate, but that measures are necessary
measures in place need to be implemented with great
to consolidate and reinforce research and the
rigour.
development of projects to enhance the natural and
cultural heritage in the buffer zone, as proposed in the
management plan. ICOMOS notes that a socio-
economic study will have to be undertaken to evaluate
the needs of local communities situated in the buffer
zone. The preventive measures in place to prevent
possible contact between local non-indigenous
communities and other external agents, on the one
hand, and members of isolated communities on the
other, must be strictly applied.

44
8 Recommendations deforestation and invasive production practices.

ICOMOS recommends that the World Heritage Committee adopt Authenticity


the following draft decision, given that it will be appropriately
harmonised with the IUCN recommendations relating to the The rock art sites are authentic in terms of situation and
evaluation of this mixed site on the basis of natural criteria, and setting, intangible culture, spirit and impression,
will be included in the working document WHC/18/42.COM/8B. materials, form and conception. The chronological
attribution of the paintings, and the assertion of a
Recommendations with respect to inscription continuous sequence of rock art will need to be
ICOMOS recommends that Chiribiquete National Park – confirmed, but this does not mean that the rock art itself
“The Maloca of the Jaguar”, Colombia, be inscribed on lacks authenticity, but merely that there are questions
the World Heritage List on the basis of cultural criterion about its interpretation.
(iii).
Management and protection requirements
Recommended Statement of Outstanding Universal
Chiribiquete National Park is legally protected by the
Value
Colombian government, as a national park that was
listed in 1989. The property is administered by the
Brief synthesis
System of National Natural Parks (SPNN). The authority
Chiribiquete National Park, situated in the north-west of responsible for the management of the archaeological
the Colombian Amazon, is Colombia’s largest protected sites is the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and
zone. Some 75,000 rock pictographs have been listed History (ICANH). The buffer zone is made up entirely of
on the walls of 60 rock shelters at the foot of tepuis. The reserves for indigenous groups and the Amazonia Forest
portrayals are interpreted as scenes of hunting, battles, Reserve. The zones surrounding the protected area are
dances and ceremonies, all of which are linked to a Type A Forest Reserve Zones inside which mining is
purported cult of the jaguar, seen as a symbol of power prohibited.
and fertility. The practices are thought to reflect a
coherent system of ancient sacred beliefs, forming the The local communities whose territories lie in the buffer
basis and explanation of relations between the cosmos, zone are still based on the traditional forms of
nature and man. Chiribiquete is believed to be visited organisation that have ensured the protection and
even today by indigenous groups that have no contact conservation of the property over a long period of time.
with the outside world. To guarantee the conservation of the archaeological
sites, their monitoring is based on minimum intervention
Criterion (iii): The rock art sites of Chiribiquete hold an parameters and the safeguarding of the transmission of
exceptional testimony, by the large number of painted ancestral knowledge. Major legal measures have been
rock shelters around the foot of rare tepui rock taken to protect the isolated indigenous communities in
formations, by the diversity of motifs, which are often the region. The management of the property includes
realistic, and by the chronological depth and persistence respect for customary practices with regards to access
up to the present-day of the purported frequentation of to the property, as defined by the Amazon Area
the sites by isolated communities. The first inhabitants of Directorate in the management scenarios for protected
Amazonia practised their art on the rock walls of areas in national natural parks (DTAM, 2011).
Chiribiquete, and these paintings constitute an
exceptional testimony of their vision of the world. A management plan, drawn up by Colombia’s System of
Chiribiquete is even today considered to be of mythical National Natural Parks, is in place for the period 2016-
importance by several groups and is designated the 2020. Two aspects are prioritised: the first is the
“Home of the Animals”. overlapping of Chiribiquete National Park with territories
that are not recognised reserves; the second is
Integrity overlapping with territories that have not been contacted
or are in a situation of voluntary isolation. Given that
Chiribiquete National Park contains all the elements
there are no direct pressures inside the property, a
necessary for the expression of its Outstanding
significant proportion of the management is implemented
Universal Value, and is of an appropriate size for the
in the buffer zone by the System of National Natural
satisfactory preservation of the conditions of integrity. No
Parks (SPNN) and by the Colombian Institute of
infrastructure has been built and none is planned. The
Anthropology and History (ICANH). Tourism, including
isolated location of these sites, which are hard to
eco-tourism, is not authorised inside the property
access, and the cultural restrictions on access and the
boundaries.
making of paintings ensure the comprehensive
representation of the characteristics and processes that
express the importance of the property. The System of
National Natural Parks (SPNN), the Colombian Institute
of Anthropology and History (ICANH) and the Colombian
armed forces collaborate with each other to maintain
control of the property and preserve its buffer zone from

45
Additional recommendations
ICOMOS recommends that the State Party should give
consideration to the following points:

a) Continuing the archaeological investigations, the


inventorying and the documentation of the rock art
sites inside the boundaries of the property and the
buffer zone,

b) Using the “Strategic Priorities and Guidelines for


archaeological and ethnographic research” drawn up
by the Columbian Institute of Anthropology and
History (20 May 2016) as the basis for the monitoring
and conservation of the property, particularly in
preparing a more detailed inventory of the
archaeological sites,

c) Keeping the state of conservation of the rock art


sites under surveillance, and take the necessary
measures to ensure appropriate conservation, while
taking account of their importance for the
communities living inside the property boundaries,

d) Supporting the development of projects to enhance


the natural and cultural heritage in the buffer zone,
as proposed in the management plan,

e) Undertaking a basic socio-economic study to assess


the needs of local communities situated in the buffer
zone,

f) Strictly applying the preventive measures in place so


as to prevent possible contact between non-
indigenous local communities or other external
agents and the members of isolated communities
who have no contact with the outside world;

46
Map showing the boundaries of the nominated property
Panoramic view of an archaeological site with rock art

Rock art
IV Cultural properties
A Arab States
New nominations

B Asia – Pacific
New nominations

C Europe – North America


New nominations
Additional information received by ICOMOS
On 29 September 2017, a letter requesting additional
The Ancient City of Qalhat information was sent by ICOMOS to the State Party to
(Oman) request further information regarding the justification of
Outstanding Universal Value, in particular as it relates to
No 1537 the city’s layout, division and original function, its role in
regional and global trade networks as well as architectural
innovation that could be said to have emerged from
Qalhat. A reply was received from the State Party, dated
31 October 2017.
Official name as proposed by the State Party
The Ancient City of Qalhat
An Interim Report was provided to the State Party on
22 December 2017 summarising the issues identified by
Location
the ICOMOS World Heritage Panel. A reply from the State
Governorate of Al-Sharqiyya South, Wilayat of Sur
Party was received on 27 February 2018 supplying a
Oman
detailed description of the archaeological remains and
their historic functions, augmenting the comparative
Brief description
analysis as well as further details on conservation and
The ancient city of Qalhat is located on the eastern coast
boundaries. The State Party also submitted additional
of the Sultanate of Oman, approximately 20 kilometres
images and maps of the property.
north-west of the city of Sur. The property includes the
entire Ancient City of Qalhat, demarcated by its inner and
All additional information received from the State Party
outer walls, which extends over 35 hectares, as well as
has been incorporated into the relevant sections below.
areas outside the walls where the necropolises are
situated. The city was an important port on the East
Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
Arabian Coast, which flourished in the 11th to
14 March 2018
15th centuries CE under the rule of the Princes of Hormuz.
Following Portuguese attacks, it was abandoned in the
16th century and has remained as an archaeological site
ever since. 2 The property

Category of property Description


In terms of categories of cultural property set out in The archaeological site of the ancient city of Qalhat is
Article I of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a located on a narrow triangular coastal rocky plateau in Al-
site. Sharqiyya province, 45 kilometres north-west of Ras Al-
Hadd and 20 kilometres north-west of the city of Sur. The
site is separated from the sea by a rocky cliff of
1 Basic data approximately 10 to 15 metres in height. The former
settlement stretches over an area 1600 metres long at the
foot of the Jabal Al-Hajir Al-Sharqi and covers an overall
Included in the Tentative List
area of 35 hectares. The nominated property, however,
23 May 2013
encompasses an area of 69 hectares, including among
others the city’s necropolises. The historic city has been
International Assistance from the World Heritage
divided into several quarters for the purpose of
Fund for preparing the Nomination
archaeological documentation and interpretation.
None

The central quarter is located between two wadis, which


Date received by the World Heritage Centre
are both inside the city walls. It is located at the accessible
30 January 2017
point from the sea, where boats could land.
Archaeological investigations identified this section as the
Background
most ancient part of the city, dating back to around
This is a new nomination.
1 100 CE. The quarter contains 140 documented
structures and is centred around the Friday Mosque
Consultations
complex. Within this quarter house sizes vary
ICOMOS has consulted its International Scientific
considerably. North of the Friday Mosque larger, scattered
Committees on Archaeological Heritage Management, on
buildings with large open spaces and terraces have been
Underwater Cultural Heritage and several independent
documented. To the west and south there are medium-
experts.
sized buildings distributed in slightly denser urban
patterns. On the south-western fringe of the quarter, much
Technical Evaluation Mission
smaller and densely-packed architectural structures can
An ICOMOS technical evaluation mission visited the
be observed.
property from 18 to 23 September 2017.

47
The Great Friday Mosque is located in the heart of the discovered to date, both the above-described attributions
ancient quarter at the end of the main street which leads remain doubtful.
from the western gate to the shore. Following its discovery
in 2008, it was completely excavated and is now being Qalhat was important enough in the 10th and
conserved. As this quarter was the heart of the city, most 11th centuries AD to be mentioned by Al-‘Awtabi in his
administrative and official buildings were located near the Kitab al-Ansab, which describes the geographies and
Friday Mosque along the seashore. Small shop structures genealogies of Oman at the time. Several other written
in the surroundings indicate the presence of a souq. An documents mention the existence of Qalhat at the same
area to the north connects 8 buildings by means of a time. It was described as a city with civil, military,
fence. This is assumed to have been a central area with political and commercial relations with the newly-
public functions, such as a madrasa, hammam, khan and established Kingdom of Hormuz.
hospital.
The Kingdom of Hormuz was initially established by
The central quarter is surrounded by several peripheral Mohammad Dirham Ko Al-Azdi in the area of Minab. In
quarters, such as the north-east quarter. This quarter is the early 12th century AD, the capital transferred to Jaron
composed of buildings on both sides of a straight street Island and was called New Hormuz. Qalhat became a
which connects the harbour to a city gate in the northern southern power centre which provided shelter for the
fortification wall, the key access to Qalhat from the princes of Hormuz during times of conflict. However,
direction of Muscat. This quarter also contains the largest Qalhat also hosted exiles who were aspiring to regain
single building identified in the city. Although its function is power and who re-established their armies and fleets to
not determined, a palace function, such as for the attack the New City of Hormuz.
governor of the city, is suspected by archaeologists.
Qalhat became a regional centre in the 13th century due
The north-west quarter is dominated by private dwellings, to the decline of other early Islamic Omani settlements. It
with clusters of residences and buildings with other became the predominant trade centre on the East
functions organized around squares. Three of such Arabian coast. According to Ibn al-Mujawir, the city fell
buildings along the northern end of the quarter were under the control of the Khwarizm ruler Khwajah Radi Al-
excavated and have been identified in turn as a small Din Qiyam Al-Mulk Abu Bakr Al-Zuzani, who collected
mosque, a dwelling and what was likely a store. The taxes and traded in Qalhat until he died in 1218-19 AD,
excavations have delivered detailed information about the leaving behind 64,000 tonnes of silk and 500 horses. In
life of the Qalhatis, their involvement in fishing, agricultural 1219, Qalhat’s fortification wall was built which
and livestock activities, as well as their trading relations. strengthened its economic position further.

The western quarter may have been the productive In the 13th century Qalhat likely controlled most of the
neighbourhood of the city, since both the excavated units Indian Ocean trade of the Kingdom of Hormuz. It also
here were probably workshops. One of the two was a dominated the eastwards trade towards the coast of
pottery kiln producing glazed tiles such as were used in Africa. At that time the governor Ayaz split his presence
the Friday Mosque, while the other was an artisan’s between Hormuz and Qalhat, which in his absence was
workshop utilizing semi-precious stones and pearls. ruled by his wife Maryam. She, Bibi Maryam, is said to
have built the Great Friday Mosque and a mausoleum
The funerary areas surround the ancient city and are for her late husband. She continued ruling after her
partly located inside, partly outside the city walls. More husband’s death until at least 1319.
than 2000 funerary structures have been documented,
including small mausoleums, cist graves with inscriptions, In the 14th and 15th centuries AD trade relations were
simple graves of various shapes and funerary terraces. extensive. A great amount of Chinese porcelain has
The city was surrounded by a defensive wall with several been found at Qalhat, as have Indian ceramics and
fortification towers. It should be noted that only a small carved slabs with Indian motives. The main commodities
percentage of the historic city has been excavated and which Qalhat traded were dates and Arabian horses, for
that the archaeological potential for the generation of which it was particularly famous. Qalhat, at that time,
further knowledge about the Kingdom of Hormuz remains was a wealthy and cosmopolitan city with a population of
immense. Arabs, Persians and Indians, as well as smaller numbers
of different African communities. Qalhat kept its status
History and development as the second most important city and port of the
The earliest historic evidence in the ancient city of Qalhat Kingdom of Hormuz until the arrival of the Portuguese.
is an Iron Age tomb dating to around 500 BC. The most
ancient mention of Qalhat is found in the Kitab Ansab Al In the last quarter of the 15th century, Qalhat was
‘Arab attributed to Salama ibn Muslim Al-Awtabi Al-Suhari, affected by an earthquake. It was still in the process of
which dates its foundation to the early Christian Era. rebuilding when the Portuguese arrived in 1507. The
However, oral tradition dates its foundation centuries Portuguese described it as a fortified town of 5000 to
earlier to the reign of Malik bin Fahm Al-Azdi, who is said 6000 inhabitants. In 1508, the Portuguese attacked and
to have established the first Omani capital at al-Qalhat. conquered Qalhat. They ransacked and burnt it,
Since no trace of pre-Islamic occupation has been destroying most of the wealth and resources stored

48
within the city walls. The present excavations appear to as complementary, with Qalhat representing the trade
confirm a large fire through evidence such as thick port connecting Hormuz across the Indian Ocean and to
layers of ash in, for example, the prayer hall, but they do East Africa, and especially the trade in Arab horses.
not yet allow for an exact dating.
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis
Subsequently, Qalhat became a Portuguese station justifies consideration of this property for the World
where the Lusitanian fleet could anchor and exert duties Heritage List.
on the Indian ships at anchor. Oral traditions relate to an
Ottoman attack in 1550 AD, but this has not been
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
proven. What is obvious is that Qalhat rapidly declined in
The nominated property is considered by the State Party
importance. Tax contributions dropped continuously and
to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural
were negligible by the middle of the century. Evidence
property for the following reasons:
exists that shows that Qalhat was still inhabited in the
second half of the 16th century AD but must have been
• It is the location of the mythical first capital of Oman
abandoned at or shortly after that time. From the end of
founded by Malik ibn Faham of the ‘Azd tribe, which
the 16th century onwards, all reports coincide in
dominated the region from the second century BCE;
observing that the city was ruined and abandoned.
• Qalhat is a twin city to Hormuz and the second
capital of the Kingdom of Hormuz, which acted as a
refuge during periods of disorder and conflict;
3 Justification for inscription, integrity and • Qalhat was the centre of trade on the East Arabian
authenticity coast controlling the Indian Ocean and East Africa
trade of Hormuz. It is known as a harbour of origin
Comparative analysis for dates, incense, pearls and especially Arab
The comparative analysis is focused on comparing horses, which were traded as far as China and
Qalhat with other port cities, firstly in Oman and then in South-East Asia.
the wider region of the Kingdom of Hormuz. Within • The site bears outstanding archaeological potential
Oman, the port cities of Khor Rori and al-Baleed, both for understanding medieval urban topology due to its
serial components of the Land of Frankincense World abandonment in the late 16th century and complete
Heritage property [2000, criteria (iii) and (iv)], are lack of subsequent interventions.
compared. Whilst they can be compared in terms of their
location and fortification structures, the first of these had ICOMOS considers that the Ancient City of Qalhat
its heyday much earlier, while the latter, although represents a testimony to the Kingdom of Hormuz which
inhabited during the influence of Hormuz, cannot be flourished in the region of the Strait of Hormuz from the
compared to the role and size of Qalhat. 11th to the 16th centuries CE. The city of Qalhat was one
of a few major trade hubs which came under the rule of
Further major cities related to the Kingdom of Hormuz the Princes of Hormuz and tremendously profited from
were included in the Comparative Analysis and are its geo-political position in the region. Furthermore, the
found in Bahrain (Qala’at Al-Bahrain [2005, criteria (ii), city was not only visited and seasonally resided in by
(iii) and (iv)]) and the United Arab Emirates (Ancient City various rulers, but also served as a refuge during times
of Julfar in the vicinity of Ras Al-Khaimah). Also Al of conflict and a place of exile for ousted princes. It
Zubarah Archaeological Site, Qatar [2013, criteria (iii), hence had a strategic trade and defence importance but
(iv) and (v)] is compared although its era of significance also political relevance for the Kingdom of Hormuz.
is considerably later. The comparative analysis then
continues to discuss port cities which had trade relations ICOMOS further considers that Qalhat provides
with Qalhat, which included amongst others the port city exceptional archaeological evidence for the trade
of Banbhore in Pakistan and Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania, exchanges between the East Arabian Coast, India, and
part of the World Heritage Property Ruins of Kilwa reaching as far and China and South East Asia. As such,
Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara [1981, criterion (iii)]. the property provides evidence of the Indian Ocean
trade networks, which pre-dated the arrival of European
In ICOMOS’ view, the most relevant comparison is the colonial powers.
one between the two originals cities of Old and New
Hormuz. It appears that the two former capitals share Integrity and authenticity
with Qalhat the fact that very little excavation and
research has been undertaken and hence the full Integrity
potential of these two sites cannot be estimated and is
probably even less explored than that of Qalhat. In the The State Party highlights correctly that the full extent of
additional information submitted, the State Party has the archaeological city lies within the property boundaries.
provided a tabular comparison of key elements, which Recent geophysical surveys have indicated more than
appear very comparable. However, ICOMOS considers 2 800 structures buried under the rubble, which covers a
that rather than considering Hormuz and Qalhat as city that has remained undisturbed since the late
archaeological sites competing as being representative 16th century. ICOMOS confirms that in terms of integrity of
of the Kingdom of Hormuz, they need to be considered the archaeological evidence, the lack of use and

49
interventions or even studies between the 17th and the they should nevertheless be respected within the overall
21st centuries is a strength, which has ensured the huge management approach of the property.
archaeological potential the property holds today.
However, ICOMOS is concerned about the conservation
ICOMOS considers that the property represents the works undertaken post-excavation. In particular,
entirety of the intra-muros city and the structures reconstructions carried out on some uncovered walls and
immediately outside the city walls. The remains of the a small mausoleum as well as the reconstruction of
walls and street fabric are sufficient to provide a another small mausoleum are not in line with international
representative testimony to its significance, with the best practice and the minimum intervention approach
archaeological finds adding to our understanding of how it required by this property.
functioned as a city.
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the conditions of
In the additional information submitted by the State Party integrity will be met once the shoreline is included in the
in February 2018, the nominated property boundaries nominated area and that the conditions of authenticity
have been revised, excluding parts in the North and South are largely demonstrated, although ICOMOS is
of the property which do not contain archaeological concerned about a few past reconstruction activities,
remains, and including them into the buffer zone. which should not be repeated.
ICOMOS considers that it would be desirable to include
the shoreline along the sea as an important area of trade
Criteria under which inscription is proposed
interactions and transitions between the ancient city and
The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria
the ocean. The nomination dossier highlights that
(iii), (v) and (vi).
underwater archaeological investigations discovered 25
stone anchors, rectangular and ring-shaped, near Qalhat
Criterion (ii): exhibit an important interchange of human
harbour. In the additional information provided at the
values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of
request of ICOMOS, the State Party explained that the
the world, on developments in architecture or
extension of the buffer zone in the sea was measured at
technology, monumental arts, town-planning or
120 to 300 metres distance following a sea depth of
landscape design;
10 metres and it includes all these stone anchors.
This criterion has not been proposed by the State Party
The ancient city of Qalhat is free of major threats, with the but is justified by the property. For this reason, ICOMOS
highway along the western side of the property being an has opted to include its consideration in the evaluation
unfortunate past intervention which has negatively process.
affected the visual integrity and atmosphere of the
property. ICOMOS further considers that following ICOMOS considers that Qalhat exhibits the cultural and
envisaged increased visitor numbers as a result of the commercial interchange of values within the trading
new visitation concepts and its potential future World range of the Kingdom of Hormuz, which extended to
Heritage status, Qalhat will potentially face added risks of East Africa, India and as far as China and South East
inappropriate visitor behaviour. Asia. The archaeological site of Qalhat provides physical
evidence of these interchanges, documenting the
Authenticity architectural features, which indicate its own produce,
dates, Arabian horses as well as spices and pearls, but
The State Party confirms authenticity of the property on
also integrating the multi-cultural features of a medieval
the grounds that the property was abandoned in the late
cosmopolitan city, with houses influenced by the needs
16th century and has not experienced human interference
of their various owners and inhabitants of foreign cultural
since then. In addition, the authenticity of the property is
origins.
supported by societal traditions, including visits made to
Bibi Maryam mausoleum by the local population for
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified.
blessings and offerings.

ICOMOS confirms that the ancient city of Qalhat is an Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional
abandoned archaeological site. Its architectural and urban testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which
fabric and form remain authentic, almost untouched, as is living or which has disappeared;
does its setting. Conservation, visitor management and This criterion is justified by the State Party on the
site presentation plans aim at preserving this state to the grounds that the ancient city of Qalhat presents a unique
largest extent possible. Likewise, archaeological testimony to the Kingdom of Hormuz, as it prospered
excavations so far have been well planned, thorough and from the 11th to 16th centuries CE. It is argued that the
minimal, an approach that should be continued in the planning of Qalhat and the excavated buildings show
future. Authenticity in meaning is related both to the great similarities with the New City of Hormuz in Iran.
authenticated history of the site and to stories and myths Moreover, the archaeological site has a great potential to
associated with it. Although not all of these should be provide a more detailed understanding of the ways of life
considered as attributes of Outstanding Universal Value, in medieval East Arabia and its international exchanges.

50
ICOMOS considers that the State Party’s arguments are further proposed on the basis of Qalhat’s regular
correct in that the ancient city of Qalhat played an mention as a mercantile centre in the reports of famous
important role in the trade network which was controlled medieval historians, geographers and travel writers of
by the Kingdom of Hormuz and that its archaeological different cultural and geographical origins.
remains include a number of highly representative
buildings that were also noted in several narratives ICOMOS considers that the mention of artistic features
written by historic travellers. Ancient Qalhat can related to the architecture of specific monuments, such
therefore be considered an exceptional testimony of a as the Bibi Maryam Mausoleum, would be better
major trade hub, which came under the rule of the discussed in the context of criterion (iv) but does not
Princes of Hormuz and profited from its geo-political appear of exceptional significance to merit application of
position in the region. It was also a seasonal residence this criterion.
and refuge to the Princes of Hormuz, which has given it
the status of a secondary capital of the larger kingdom. As regards the oral and literary traditions informing about
the historic ‘Azd migration, the transmitted narratives on
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified. the formation and development of the Kingdom of
Hormuz, ICOMOS considers that these do not represent
historic events of literary traditions of outstanding cultural
Criterion (v): be an outstanding example of a traditional
significance as required by this criterion. Therefore, they
human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is
may well illustrate the close relationship of the rulers of
representative of a culture (or cultures), or human
Hormuz with the Arabian Peninsula and the historic
interaction with the environment especially when it has
region of Oman and thus support the application of
become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible
criterion (iii) discussed above; however, they do not
change;
justify the application of criterion (vi). In terms of the
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the historic reports of famous historians, geographers and
grounds that Qalhat represents an exceptional traditional travellers, ICOMOS notes that these individuals often
town and includes examples of building techniques visited multiple cities if not countries, which would not
within the constraints of the local environment due to usually justify a World Heritage consideration of each
Qalhat’s positioning between the mountains, the wadis and every settlement they decided to include within their
and the sea. The State Party highlights also Qalhat’s accounts.
extraordinary urban planning which corresponds to what
is known of the city of Hormuz. ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
justified.
ICOMOS considers that the arguments provided for the
application of this criterion are based on rather generic
characteristics, which have not been demonstrated as ICOMOS considers that the nominated property meets
being exceptional for the property. Constraints posed by criteria (ii) and (iii), while the proposed criteria (v) and
the local environment, particularly the spatial conditions, (vi) cannot be considered justified. ICOMOS considers
the displayed characteristics of a mediaeval Islamic port that the conditions of integrity will be met once the
city as shaped by the layout of its different quarters and shoreline is included in the nominated area and that the
their differentiation according to function, or the use of conditions of authenticity are demonstrated.
coral stone as the main building material, can all be
easily found at other sites, especially along the East Description of the attributes
Arabian Coast. Globally, the shape of many port towns The attributes which express the Outstanding Universal
responded to topographical specificities in one way or Value of the property include the complete excavated
another, also in terms of limited space available. and unexcavated archaeological remains of the city, its
public and private structures as well as the city walls and
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been funerary evidence. The city needs to be considered
justified. within its topographical setting and hence attributes are
also the cliffs facing the sea and the seashore, serving
as both defence and port basin, as well as the
Criterion (vi): be directly or tangibly associated with
underwater archaeological remains which document
events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with
anchorage in Qalhat harbour. The wadis and mountain
artistic and literary works of outstanding universal
ranges which gave Qalhat its strategic location support
significance;
further the attributes and should remain in close sight
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the relation to the property.
grounds of several historic events and literary mentions.
The first concerns the legends of the Azd tribal
migrations from South-western Arabia to Oman and,
later, to Iran through Qalhat. The second group of oral
and literary traditions centre around the rise and fall of
the Hormuz Kingdom in Persia and the strong links
between Qalhat and Hormuz. Lastly, the criterion is

51
4 Factors affecting the property 5 Protection, conservation and
management
The property within its boundaries is owned by the
Ministry of Heritage and Culture and accordingly, Boundaries of the nominated property
developmental pressures on the site are mainly limited to and buffer zone
impacts from outside its boundaries and the potential The boundaries of the nominated property and the buffer
increased interest for touristic use. The highway which zone have been revised following the ICOMOS’ Interim
was constructed on a slightly higher elevation along its report. The property was reduced from approximately 101
western border remains problematic as it impacts ha to 69 ha, and the buffer zone extended from 109 ha to
negatively on the property’s setting. A large liquefied 175 ha. The former extent of the property boundaries
natural gas plant is located 4 kilometres south of the site corresponded to the borders of a parcel for which the
along the seashore across the bay, but there are no plans Ministry of Heritage and Culture holds ownership,
for an expansion northward. Its present negative visual extending beyond the limits of the ancient city of Qalhat
impact on the setting is moderate. and its funerary structures, in particular in their northern
and southern extension. In its interim report, ICOMOS
As has been the case in the past, the property remains requested the State Party to consider reducing the extent
vulnerable to natural pressures such as cyclones, of the nominated area, in order to exclude the southern
torrential or strong seasonal rains as well as earthquakes. part of the property, beyond the city gate as this area does
These natural forces have over time led to the erosion of not contain archaeological remains, in order to put it into
the cliffs as well as the abandoned remains of Qalhat. the buffer zone, as well as for the east west strip at Wadi
These will most likely be left uncovered to present them to Hilm. The State Party revised the nominated area
visitors once the site is opened again to the public. delineation according to the ICOMOS considerations.

The potential impact by touristic developments cannot be ICOMOS further requested in its interim report that the
properly assessed at the moment, as the site is closed former harbour of Qalhat should be included into the
and no plans for future visitor infrastructure were property boundaries. The State Party explained in the
submitted as part of the nomination. In fact, the visitor additional information provided in February 2018 that the
management plan is still in preparation. However, the harbour needs to be considered a natural harbour with
State Party clearly states that the property will be nobuilt infrastructures, as it is the case for the
developed as an Archaeological Park and that the Mediterranean archaeological sites. It therefore proposed
necessary infrastructure will need to be integrated at least to merely extend the buffer zone into the sea as also
within the immediate environment of the property and requested by ICOMOS.
partially within it, such as in the form of boardwalks and
structures providing shade. However, ICOMOS considers that it would be desirable
that the nominated property delineation include at least
ICOMOS considers that the potential pressure from the shoreline of the property, which bears significance as
tourism development at the site is likely to be minimal due a location facilitating the trade interaction as a transitional
to the expected low number of visitors attracted to the site. space between the ancient city and the ocean.
Potential risks are more likely to be related to the
infrastructure developments envisaged to facilitate this Moreover, the highway which borders the western side of
visitation. It is therefore essential that Heritage Impact Qalhat is partially included in the property, in the
Assessments are conducted according to ICOMOS’ southern/south-western area. It is not clear why this
Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural choice was made and it would be preferable, in ICOMOS’
World Heritage Properties, for any site infrastructure view, to exclude totally the highway, which is more a
developed within and around the property, and are threat and source of negative visual impacts than an
communicated to the World Heritage Centre in line with attribute of the property
paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines for the
Implementation of the World Heritage Convention. The buffer zone has been revised and divided into two
parts, A and B, which distinguishes the parts belonging to
ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property the Ministry of Heritage and Culture (parts of the previous
are natural disasters, earthquakes and, potentially, proposal of property boundaries) and the rest of the buffer
inappropriate site infrastructure development. zone. Regarding the modifications of the buffer zone, it
has been extended into the sea as suggested by
ICOMOS. However, the extension has been made
between 120 to 300 m following the depth of the sea at 10
m, and not until 600 m offshore in depth of 50m as
proposed by ICOMOS. The State Party justifies its
position based on the water surveys, which concluded that
no archaeological elements could be found beyond 300m.
ICOMOS considers that this justification is relevant and
the buffer zone extension is adequate.

52
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of conservation could have a considerable negative impact
the nominated property should be modified in order to on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.
exclude totally the highway in the south-western part of
the property boundary, and to include the shoreline along The condition of the standing remains varies accordingly
the sea. ICOMOS considers that the revised buffer zone is from over-restored, such as the mausoleum, to fairly good,
adequate. like the Bibi Maryam mausoleum, or less good, such as
the southern extra-muros cistern. ICOMOS considers that
the immediate conservation following excavations needs
Ownership
to be adequately addressed and that a joint excavation-
The property is entirely owned by the Ministry of Heritage
conservation programme needs to be established to guide
and Culture. As for the buffer zone, it is also partly owned
a coordinated approach, as has already been started
by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and partly by the
within the CNRS-WMF partnership. The greatest
Sultanate of Oman, without attribution of ministerial
challenge in this is to maintain the structural stability of the
responsibility.
excavated structures without compromising their visual
readability and material authenticity.
Protection
The Ancient City of Qalhat is designated as a national
cultural heritage site of Oman and is therefore under the In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that inventories,
highest legal level of protection of national heritage documentation, archiving and latest conservation
according to Royal Decree No. 6/80. The same Royal measures follow international standards but that
Decree also assures the protection of a buffer zone conservation of the excavated structures needs to be
around the heritage sites concerned. The legal protection guided by a minimum intervention approach.
is effectively implemented by means of fencing and
human guards patrolling the archaeological site. Management

Before the property was closed to the public for Management structures and processes,
conservation, the section of the site around Bibi Maryam including traditional management processes
was looked after by the residents of the neighbouring
Management processes and strategies are guided by the
village of Qalhat for whom it is a shrine with healing
Ministry of Heritage and Culture and will be implemented
powers. This traditional protection mechanism was
on a day-to-day basis by the Ministry’s regional office.
disrupted when the site was closed and visitation was
This regional office is intended to be restructured once the
discontinued. ICOMOS considers that it is important to re-
site is reopened to the public. ICOMOS notes that the
activate this mechanism as part of the future visitor
current personnel capacities of both conservation and
concept.
interpretation staff, but also security guards, is not
sufficient for the site once it’s reopened to the public and
ICOMOS considers that the legal protection in place is needs to be strengthened. ICOMOS considers that in light
adequate. of the possible risks by earthquakes or other natural
disasters, the management plan in preparation (see
Conservation below) should contain risk preparedness and disaster-
The property was systematically inventoried by means of management strategies.
digital photogrammetry, GIS and documentation of the
visible structures in situ as part of the archaeological ICOMOS recommends that the current practice of
research and conservation activities. A site-specific contracting out conservation tasks to international firms or
documentation centre has been established which institutions should be used as a means of local capacity-
provides a central archive of site-related information. building in order to train a site-specific team qualified to
Before the publication of archaeological excavation undertake ongoing conservation and maintenance works.
results, reports on each excavation season are submitted
and archived. Policy framework: management plans and
arrangements, including visitor management
The condition of the unexcavated archaeological remains and presentation
is assumed to be stable. Some sections were excavated
and refilled after the season as a form of temporary The Ministry of Heritage and Culture is preparing a
protection. Conservation works are presently underway Management Plan for the Ancient City of Qalhat in
and aim to be completed by 2019. These are undertaken anticipation of its reopening to the public in 2018/19. Not
in coordination with the World Monuments Fund. ICOMOS yet included in the nomination dossier and unavailable
considers that some of the conservation efforts during the ICOMOS technical evaluation mission, the
undertaken seem rather extensive and lean towards management plan was announced in the additional
restoration or even reconstruction. ICOMOS therefore information submitted by the State Party on
recommends that a minimum intervention approach is 10 October 2017, to be completed within a month and
applied to all future conservation projects, which is in line sent to the Word Heritage Centre upon its completion.
with the largely untouched condition of this property. However, the management plan was not submitted with
ICOMOS further notes that continued extensive the two later packages of additional information provided

53
by the State Party. ICOMOS recommends that the 7 Conclusions
management plan is finalized, officially adopted and
submitted to the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS. The Ancient City of Qalhat provides an exceptional
testimony of a southern port and trade of the Kingdom of
The property is currently closed to visitors for the purpose Hormuz, between the 11th and the 16th centuries CE. It
of continued excavation and conservation measures and was one of a few major trade hubs which came under
no visitor infrastructure exists. Whilst reopening and with it the rule of the Princes of Hormuz and prospered on the
a need for visitor infrastructure is envisaged by the State basis of its trade exchanges to the east and south.
Party, no concrete plans for this have been presented. Qalhat even became a secondary capitol of Hormuz as it
ICOMOS recommends that Heritage Impact Assessments was seasonally resided in by various rulers and served
are undertaken according to ICOMOS’ Guidance on as a refuge during times of conflict and crisis. The
Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Ancient City of Qalhat provides unique archaeological
Properties before any visitor infrastructure is approved evidence for the trade exchanges between the East
within or around the property, to prevent potential negative Arabian Coast, East Africa, India, and as far as China
impacts to the Outstanding Universal Value. and South East Asia. As such, the property provides
evidence of the East Arabian side of the Indian Ocean
Involvement of the local communities trade networks, which predated the arrival of European
While stakeholder meetings have been held with the local colonial powers. ICOMOS considers that these
resident community, there is no clear indication that characteristics give justification to criterion (ii) in relation
community members will play an effective role in decision- to the interchanges of trade networks and the
making or future management of the property. cosmopolitan nature of Qalhat which illustrates the
intercultural composition of its inhabitants, as well as
criterion (iii) as an exceptional trade and maritime centre
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that whilst the
of the Kingdom of Hormuz.
institutional management system for the property is
adequate at present, human resources need to be
strengthened before the site is reopened to the public. ICOMOS considers that the property fulfils the conditions
of authenticity, despite concerns regarding the extensive
The management plan, including a section on visitor
nature of some previous restorations and recommends
management, risk preparedness and disaster-response,
is an essential management requirement and needs to the adoption of a minimum intervention approach to
future conservation in line with the largely untouched
be finalized and officially adopted.
nature of an abandoned archaeological site. In terms of
integrity, ICOMOS considers that the site is free of major
threats but requires careful consideration of site
6 Monitoring infrastructure envisaged by the responsible authorities.
While all structures of the city of Qalhat are within the
The State Party indicates that the Management Plan will site boundaries, ICOMOS therefore recommends that
incorporate specific actions and protocols for monitoring the nominated area be extended to include the shoreline
and periodic review based on precise indicators. The which bears significance as a location facilitating the
baseline for these is provided by GIS documentation trade interaction as a transitional space between the
which has surveyed the entire ancient city of Qalhat since ancient city and the ocean.
2008, including through photogrammetry executed by
Iconem for the Qalhat Development Project, and the The property enjoys adequate legal protection and its
photographic and graphic archives. management responsibility lies with the Ministry of
Heritage and Culture. The team at the regional Sur office
The monitoring protocols will be executed by the Sur office is responsible for the day-to-day management of the
of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, which will also property. ICOMOS considers that the human resources
provide the basis for the documentation centre as an of the management team need to be considerably
archive of monitoring processes. The nomination dossier strengthened before the property is reopened to the
anticipates a number of indicators for future monitoring public. ICOMOS considers that, in particular,
exercises including annual wall stability and damage interpretation and conservation expertise is required and
surveys as well as climatic conditions. ICOMOS notes that that the current practice of contracting out conservation
while the general concepts proposed seem adequate, the work to foreign firms and institutions should be used for
monitoring system needs to be established and designed local capacity-building.
in detail and be tested in its first implementation.
The State Party indicated that a site management plan is
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that while the general under preparation and it was supposed to be completed
aspects presented of the envisaged monitoring system in November 2017. Unfortunately, this management plan
seem adequate, the system needs to be defined more has not yet been made available. ICOMOS considers
precisely and put into practice. that this management plan will play a crucial role in
terms of tourism management strategies, risk
preparedness and disaster-response measures, as well
as the strategic interlinking of excavation and

54
conservation activities which need to go hand-in-hand.
According to ICOMOS, it is therefore essential that the
Management Plan is finalized and adopted at the earliest
opportunity.

8 Recommendations

Recommendations with respect to inscription


ICOMOS recommends that the nomination of the
Ancient City of Qalhat, Oman, be referred back to the
State Party in order to:

a) Modify the property boundaries to include the


shoreline along the sea, which bears significance as
a location facilitating the trade interaction as a
transitional space between the ancient city and the
ocean and to exclude the section of the highway
from the south-wesstern borders of the property,

b) Finalize and officially adopt the Management Plan,


including tourism management, risk preparedness and
disaster-response strategies, and a joint excavation-
conservation programme,

c) Strengthen the human resources capacities of the


regional office responsible for the day-to-day
management activities, in particular in terms of
conservation and interpretation specialists as well as
security guards, once the property is reopened to the
public;

Additional recommendations
ICOMOS recommends that the State Party give
consideration to the following:

d) Utilizing the current commissioning of conservation


tasks to foreign firms or institutions as a means of
local capacity-building in order to train a site-specific
team qualified to undertake ongoing conservation and
maintenance tasks,

e) Undertaking Heritage Impact Assessments according


to ICOMOS’ Guidance on Heritage Impact
Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties
for any site infrastructure envisaged within or outside
the property boundaries before such is given official
approval, and communicating these to the World
Heritage Centre in line with paragraph 172 of the
Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the
World Heritage Convention,

f) Applying a minimum intervention approach, in line


with the largely untouched nature of this property, to
all future conservation projects in view of the
negative impacts that extensive restoration could
have on the Outstanding Universal Value of the
property,

g) Detailing further the indicators and mechanisms of


the monitoring system and start its implementation at
regular intervals;

55
Map showing the revised boundaries of the nominated property
Bibi Maryam Mausoleum

Cistern
Comments about the evaluation of this property were
received from IUCN in November 2017. ICOMOS carefully
Al-Ahsa Oasis examined this information to arrive at its final decision and
(Saudi Arabia) its March 2018 recommendation; IUCN also reviewed the
presentation of its comments in accordance with the
No 1563 version included in this ICOMOS report.

Technical Evaluation Mission


An ICOMOS Technical Evaluation Mission visited the
nominated property from 15 to 23 September 2017.
Official name as proposed by the State Party
Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape
Additional information received by ICOMOS
A letter was sent from ICOMOS to the State Party on
Location
25 September 2017 requesting additional information
Al-Ahsa Governorate
regarding the boundaries of the nominated property and
Eastern Province
the buffer zone, questions regarding factors affecting the
Saudi Arabia
property, authenticity, conservation and management. A
response with additional information was received by
Brief description
ICOMOS from the State Party on 31 October 2017. An
Al-Ahsa Oasis consists of gardens, canals, springs,
Interim report was sent to the State Party on
wells, a drainage lake, as well as historic buildings,
24 January 2018. The additional information received on
urban fabric and archaeological sites that are seen to
28 February 2018 has been incorporated into the
represent the evolution of an ancient cultural tradition
relevant sections below.
and the traces of sedentary human occupation of the
Gulf region of the Arabian Peninsula from the Neolithic
Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
Period up to the present.
14 March 2018

Al-Ahsa Oasis consists of twelve component parts and is


the largest oasis in the world with more than 2.5 million
palm trees. The landscape of Al-Ahsa represents the
2 The property
different phases of the oasis’s evolution and the
Description
interaction of natural and cultural heritage.
Al-Ahsa Oasis is located in the eastern part of the
Arabian Peninsula, bordered on the North by Abqaiq
Category of property
province, on the east by the Persian Gulf, on the west by
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in
the desert of Al-Dahna and on the south by the desert of
Article I of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a
Al-Rub’ Al-Khali (the Empty Quarter). Al-Ahsa Oasis is a
serial nomination of 12 sites.
serial nominated property composed of twelve
component parts totalling 8,544 ha in surface area,
In terms of the Operational Guidelines for the
surrounded by seven buffer zones covering a total area
Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
of 21,555 ha. The property is nominated as an ‘evolving
(July 2017) paragraph 47, it is nominated as a cultural
cultural landscape’ representing a landscape that
landscape.
evolved over millennia and continues to evolve, and
presents as well a way of life in the Gulf region of the
Arabian Peninsula.
1 Basic data
The component parts are briefly presented below:
Included in the Tentative List
8 April 2015
Component 01 (NP-001): the Eastern Oasis consists of
densely cultivated palm groves of an irregular shape
International Assistance from the World Heritage
covering a total area of 3,885 ha. It is delineated by a
Fund for preparing the Nomination
network of canals that separates it from its buffer zone. It
None
includes Jabal al-Qarah, the modern village of Bani
Ma’an and a small rocky outcrop rising 30 meters above
Date received by the World Heritage Centre
the surrounding oasis. It is connected to Al-Asfar Lake
26 January 2017
by a main drainage canal.

Background
Component 02 (NP-002): this is the major part of the
This is a new nomination.
Northern Oasis, covering a total area of 2,010 ha. It is
delimited on the east by the main north-south drainage
Consultations
canal and on the south, west and north by the 1970s
ICOMOS consulted its International Scientific Committee
project canals. It is roughly round in shape with carved
on Cultural Landscapes and several independent experts.

56
out areas for Al-Qurayn village and three areas for mangrove area and follows the winding boundaries of
historic villages and their modern expansions. the watered areas and the sandy surroundings.

Component 03 (NP-003): As-Seef is the central sector of IUCN notes that “available studies suggest that the
As-Seef Oasis in Al-Hofuf, consisting of densely natural environment within and surrounding the oasis
cultivated palm groves, covering a total area of 108 ha. It components especially the ones with a more natural
is defined on the east by Al-Hofuf historic cemetery. On state (e.g. Al-Asfar Lake) is of significant importance to
its northeast side, the modern King Khaled Road delimits biodiversity, wildlife and local communities’ livelihoods.
the component and the whole nominated property. It is This is confirmed by the fact that Al-Hasa Lagoons are
defined on all other sides by the irregular shape of the recorded in the Directory of Wetlands in the Middle East
oasis. An area of 150 to 200 meters is left as a green (Scott 1995). The lagoons have been also identified as
protective belt separating it from urban settlements. an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International (BirdLife
International 2017).”
Component 04 (NP-004): Qasr Ibrahim in the city center
of Al-Hofuf is the main architectural built heritage from History and development
the Ottoman period of Al-Hofuf, covering an area of Al-Ahsa has been inhabited since high Antiquity, with
almost 2 ha. This component part includes a strip of land settlements that flourished, perished or moved location
outside the defensive walls to guarantee the protection in response to changes in landscape and human
of the historic fabric. activities, wars and the rise and fall of different political
powers. It has always been an important center in the
Component 05 (NP-005): Suq Al-Qaysariyah is the main eastern Arabian Peninsula and connected by a network
urban feature of the center of Al-Hofuf, which was of caravan routes to central Arabia.
recently rebuilt after a major fire. It consists of three
buildings arranged on a north-south axis for about The earliest occupation of Al-Ahsa is in the location of
250 meters along King Abdul-Aziz Road and covers an the present Al-Hofuf, where remains from pre-ceramic
area of 0.93 ha. Neolithic culture (before 6000 BCE) have been found.
Other sites belonging to the ‘Obeid Culture (5th and
Component 06 (NP-006): Qasr Khuzam is an historic fort 4th millennium up to the first half of the second
located south-west of the historic city of Al-Hofuf. It millennium BCE) have been found in Jawatha and ‘Ain
covers a total area of 0.67 ha, including a strip of land to Qinas. A river that is now buried existed linking Jawatha
guarantee the protection of its outer facades. with Al-Qannas (‘Ain Qinas) site, according to
archaeologists.
Component 07 (NP-007): Qasr Sahood fort in Al-
Mubarraz covers an area of 1.2 ha including a strip of During the prehistoric period, Jawatha was a commercial
land outside its walls to protect the outer facades. center for the Hajar territory of Bahrain. Archaeological
evidence shows that it exchanged products from
Component 08 (NP-008): Jawatha archaeological site is southern Arabia and Persia as well as throughout the
a fenced plot of desert land of 284 ha following the limits Arabian Peninsula. In the first half of the first millennium
of the land parcel. It is owned by SCTH (Saudi BCE, Jawatha was a node along the trade routes in
Commission for Tourism and National Heritage). It is eastern Arabia, firstly under the Chaldeans (605-
located between Jabal Al-Bureiqah and Al-Ahsa National 592 BCE) and later under the Achaemenids (562-
Park near Jawatha Mosque. 331 BCE) and continued during the invasion of
Alexander the Great (335–324 BCE), then during the
Component 09 (NP-009): Jawatha Mosque is restored rise of the Seleucid and Parthian Empires, but was
and surrounded by a perimeter wall. Its total area is affected by changes to routes during the Roman Empire.
0.08 ha.
During the classical age of the Arabian overland trade
Component 010 (NP-010): Al-‘Oyun Village is composed (500 BCE-400 CE), Al-Ahsa Oasis was a major point
of two connected parts: the traditional village and the along the route crossing Arabia. Jawatha was then a
palm grove. This component part is the most northerly major urban center. The archaeological area within the
part of the Al-Ahsa Oasis covering a total area of nominated property is believed to preserve significant
63.35 ha. It is delimited by the circular boundaries of the remains that are not yet fully excavated or documented.
village in the north and water canals on the other sides. According to research and archaeological soundings
carried out in 2000 CE, the remains of settlements are
Component 011 (NP-011): ‘Ain Qinas archaeological site buried under the sand of the highlands northwest of
was excavated in the 1970s and is owned by SCTH. It Jawatha.
covers a total area of 18.8 ha and is entirely fenced.
Al-Ahsa reached its maximum integration and size
Component 012 (NP-012): Extending over 2,170 ha, Al- during the Islamic period (from 661 to the
Asfar Lake is a drainage zone collecting the waters from 10th century CE). It was known for the use of large scale
the oasis. It includes the northern part of the main utilization of hydraulic mechanisms operated by beasts
drainage canal of the Eastern Oasis. It includes a of burden. The Al-Ahsa breed of donkey was well known

57
throughout the Muslim world. The circular urban shape remaining building that is attributed to the Bani Khalid
of the villages of Al-Ahsa resulted from an irrigation period.
canal on one side and a drainage canal on the other side
circling the village as a result of the developed water The First Saudi State was established in 1792, with Ad-
management systems in Al-Ahsa. Dir’iyah as its capital and Al-Hofuf as its regional capital,
which resulted in the growth of Al-Hofuf at the expense
Jawatha became important in the early Islamic period of Al-Mubarraz. In 1818, the First Saudi State lost Ad-
because of the conversion of the Bani Abd Al-Qais tribe Dir’iyah to Muhammad Ali, the governor of Egypt. The
to Islam. Its mosque became exceptionally important as Second Saudi State was established by regaining
the third mosque built in the history of Islam. The present control of the region between 1843 and 1871. Al-Hofuf
day Jawatha mosque is a complete reconstruction by regained its importance and its current historic core was
SCTH in the location of the original mosque. created and remained (became the Al-Kut quarter) until
the major developments of the 1970s and the 1980s.
From the 10th century onwards, Al-Ahsa was the capital
of the Qarmatian state, which dominated most of eastern The Second Ottoman Occupation from 1871 to 1913
and central Arabia. But it is not known if Al-Ahsa town resulted in the further development of Al-Hofuf as an
was built over or in the vicinity of the older town of Al- administrative regional capital with a new large municipal
Hajar or in a totally new location. During the Qarmatian building and the renovation of Qasr Ibrahim as an army
period, large areas north of Al-Ahsa Oasis were barracks and office complex. Also, schools and hospitals
cultivated, then abandoned in later times, such as were built. In 1913, Al-Ahsa was retaken by King ‘Abdul-
Jawatha. Aziz, who constructed a royal palace outside Qasr
Ibrahim in 1920. Al-Hofuf continued as the regional
The town of Al-Ahsa was invaded and reduced to an capital until 1938. In the 20th century, Al-Hofuf was
insignificant settlement by the Al-‘Uyuni dynasty who divided into six quarters, which were divided into smaller
ended the Qarmatian dynasty. The location of Al-Ahsa clusters. Between 1917 and 1923, Al-Qaysariyah was
town today is not certain, but there are theories renewed.
suggesting that it might coincide with the present-day Al-
Battaliyah village. The population of Al-Ahsa is almost equally divided into
Sunni and Shi’a religious communities, with the Shi’a
The Ottomans chose Al-Hofuf as their administrative community mostly concentrated in the eastern part of the
capital in the Eastern Arabian Province. It is not clear cities closer to the groves and the Sunni communities in
when Al-Hofuf was established. It is not possible to the western parts, while most villages are inhabited by
establish its relationship with Al-Ahsa town because of either one community or the other.
the moving sand dunes. During the Ottoman period, Al-
Hofuf developed as an administrative center, an In 1938, oil was discovered in commercial quantities in
important military position and an agricultural production the Eastern Province, which resulted in the foundation
center. and growth of new settlements such as Dhahran, Al-
Khobar, Abqaiq and Ras Tanura as well as the
Qasr Ibrahim, consisting of a diwan building, a domed expansion of existing settlements such as Dammam with
mosque and a Turkish bath, was probably founded no relation to agricultural activities and economy.
before the full Ottoman conquest and control of the
region. The Ottoman rule of the region, which started in In 1953, Dammam replaced Al-Hofuf as the capital of the
1549, was ended in 1680 by the Bani Khalid tribe. The Eastern Province, which led to the decline of Al-Hofuf
earliest Friday mosque in Al-Hofuf, for which there is and the expansion of residential areas of Al-Hofuf and
evidence, was called Masjid Ad-Dibs. Its location still Al-Mubarraz at the expense of farming areas. Since
exists to the present day in the Al-Kut quarter. The other 1970, major projects have reversed the decline of Al-
mosque was a large domed building inside the citadel. Hofuf as a result of the renewed importance of the city
No Turkish baths existed in either Al-Hofuf or Al- by the discovery of oil in the vicinity and also as a result
Mubarraz, except for the one in Qasr Ibrahim. The local of the sand dune stabilization project and the creation of
tradition was to bathe in local natural springs. a new canals network. After the great oil boom of 1973,
Al-Hofuf continued to grow and merged with Al-
After the 16th century, the population of Al-Ahsa Oasis Mubarraz. Al-Ahsa further developed and expanded
was concentrated in about 50 villages spread throughout towards Dhahran to the north and towards Riyadh to the
the oasis and the two cities of Al-Hofuf and Al-Mubarraz. west and became part of the road network of Arabian
Gulf states.
Al-Mubarraz town, the foundation date of which is not
known, became the seat of power for the Bani Khalid
rulers of Al-Ahsa from 1680 to 1792. They probably built
Qasr Sahood. Nevertheless, Al-Hofuf continued to thrive
as an important religious and agricultural town. Al-
Mubarraz declined after the end of the rule of the Bani
Khalid in 1790. Today, the fortification is the only

58
3 Justification for inscription, integrity and ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis does
authenticity not justify consideration of this property for the World
Heritage List.
Comparative analysis
The comparative analysis in the nomination dossier is Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
made according to typological categorization of oases The nominated property is considered by the State Party
around the world based on: climatic differentiation, to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural
distinguishing ‘hot deserts’ and ‘cold deserts’ – Al-Ahsa property for the following reasons:
being a warm one; historical origins; physical
Classification (dimensions and form); and geo- • It is a unique cultural landscape resulting from
morphology, hydro-agricultural and architectural space. the interaction of man and nature in a particular
Accordingly, oases are divided into ‘mountain oases’ and geographic and geological position, which up to
‘plains and depression oases’. the present preserves material remains
representing all stages of the oasis’s history;
World Heritage Sites that were compared with Al-Ahsa in • It is an exceptional cultural landscape created by
the nomination dossier are Al-‘Ain, UAE (2011, (iii), (iv), the association of large date palm groves and
(v)), Figuig, Morocco (Tentative List, 2011, (iii), (iv), (v)), built environment, continuously over a long span
Bam, Iran (2004, (ii), (iii), (iv), (v)), Shibam, Yemen of time and it still maintains all the characteristics
(1982, (iii), (iv), (v)), M’Zab, Algeria (1982, (ii), (iii), (v)), including the geo-morphological and water
Ghadames, Libya (1986, (v)), Bahla, Oman (1987, (iv)) conditions as well as the socio-cultural ones
and Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco (1987, (iv), (v)). Other created by nomadic, sedentary and marine-
comparisons were made with Siwa - Egypt, Al-‘Ula, lacustrine environments;
Taima and Ad-Dir’iyah - KSA, Ferdows, Meymah, • It bears testimony to human occupation for
Ardestan, Jupar and Gonabad – Iran, and Manhattan – thousands of years up to the present;
USA. • It includes historic buildings, such as fortresses,
religious sites and agricultural landscape
ICOMOS notes that the comparative analysis could be elements;
further enhanced by including some relevant examples • It is the largest oasis in the world containing
on the World Heritage List, such as Palmeral of Elche, more than 2.5 million palm trees;
Spain (2000, (ii), (v)), and other examples on the • It is a spectacular example of an oasis
Tentative Lists, such as the Oasis of Gabes, Tunisia demonstrating shared values, social cohesion
(2008, (iv), (vii), (x)), and Island of Djerba, Tunisia (2012, and technical know-how;
(v), (vi)).
• The serial approach is adopted so that it includes
the different components that make up the
ICOMOS notes that some comparators are not relevant
cultural landscape of an oasis with historic layers
in the sense that they have been inscribed on the World
representing all phases of its history and the
Heritage List for different sets of attributes and values
geographic and geological elements representing
than those proposed for Al-Ahsa.
the different aspects of its environment.

ICOMOS notes that the comparison with Al-‘Ain, United


ICOMOS considers that Al-Ahsa clearly is an oasis with
Arab Emirates, highlights the lack of coherence of the
great time depth, it has persisted over time and was
nominated property as a cultural landscape. Al-Ain is
important economically through its connections to trade
similar to Al-Ahsa in being composed of a number of
routes across the Arabian Peninsula.
component parts with no visual relationships between
them including palm oases, historic buildings and
The defining characteristics of this oasis were its
archaeological sites separated by modern urban fabric.
cultivation of dates and the complex water and sewage
However, in the case of Al-Ain, the serial site is listed as
management systems that underpinned this cultivation.
cultural sites (i.e. a group of sites). On the other hand,
Both of these appear to have been introduced in the
Al-Ahsa is nominated as a cultural landscape as a single
Dilmun period when ‘The spread of the date palm
oasis including different plantations, settlements,
brought prosperity to the towns along the trade routes of
buildings and archaeological sites that were not
the Arabian peninsula’. What is also clear though is that
considered to be included within a single oasis, or any
although this system largely survived until the 1960s,
single entity, before the post-oil large-scale
when the town was still mainly an agricultural town,
developments of the 1960s and 1970s.
since then the oasis has been ‘transformed’ in three
ways: from major extensions of the date palm
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis is not
plantations, from changes in the irrigation system and
adequate with regards to the coherence of the cultural
from urban growth based on the oil industry.
landscape concept in terms of visual relationships
between the oasis and the associated human
The date palm plantations now produce dates for a
settlements, and its relationship with the surrounding
global market. The canal system has been extensively
desert landscape.
re-engineered and extended to service this growth, and

59
also to address the lack of efficient ground water Integrity and authenticity
irrigation distribution and drainage as a result of social
change. These changes have radically altered the Integrity
relative status of agriculture and brought water
As a serial nomination, integrity refers to whether the
management under the control of the Al-Hassa Irrigation
component parts of the nomination sufficiently cover the
and Drainage Authority rather than the famers. And
attributes needed to demonstrate the Outstanding
during the same period the new urban areas have led to
Universal Value suggested by the State Party. Integrity
the fusion of two towns, of Al-Hofuf and Al-Mubarraz into
thus relates to the ability of the 12 selected sites to
one town, Al-Ahsa, and the re-building of most of the
represent and reflect the necessary attributes of the
traditional buildings.
proposed Outstanding Universal Value.
Given these recent changes, Al-Ahsa Oasis can no
The State Party justifies the integrity of the nominated
longer be seen to reflect mainly traditional water
site by five criteria: structural integrity, landscape
management practices for sharing water supplies, or
integrity, integrity of use, development of the human
social systems connected to traditional settlements
settlements and control of threats.
many of which no longer survive.

The nomination dossier argues that the conditions of


Whereas in most cultural landscapes some modern
integrity of the nominated property are met through its
interventions have been introduced to support the
twelve component parts by the sheer size of the property
persistence of traditional practices, at Al-Ahsa the
and the physical presence of the attributes of the
interventions have all replaced traditional practices. It is
proposed Outstanding Universal Value, including
thus difficult to see Al-Ahsa as a cultural landscape that
2.5 million palm trees, water canals and water-lifting
reflects persistent cultural traditions and the way people
methods, urban settlements, historic buildings, and
interact with nature.
archaeological sites within the property that covers
85 km2.
ICOMOS notes that in evaluating nominations of evolved
landscapes that are also continuing landscapes, as well
According to the nomination dossier, the integrity of the
as defining what has organically evolved, there is a need
nominated property as an evolving cultural landscape is
to show what aspects are continuing, and the limits of
justified by the long history of the habitation of the oasis
change over time that will be needed to sustain the
over thousands of years and up to the present, which
attributes of Outstanding Universal Value and maintain
implies a combination of traditional and modern methods
the evidence of evolution over time.
and techniques of water management, urban
settlements and commercial activities.
Because of the recent changes, what has been
nominated is not the whole oasis or even a substantial
ICOMOS considers that there is an issue of connection
part of it but a selection of isolated components that do
between the selected component sites, which constitute
not add up to the idea of an overall cultural landscape
a fragmented serial nomination, some elements being
and cannot readily be seen to reflects all aspects of the
very isolated from the others. The visual relationships of
way the oasis functioned traditionally. The justification
the different component parts, as well as the visual
presented by the State Party around the notion of a
relationships between the different components and their
cultural landscape is lacking the visual and functional
natural environment, do not consistently fulfill the
relationships of the different component parts of the
conditions of integrity of a cultural landscape.
nominated property as well as the relationships between
these parts and the surrounding natural environment.
ICOMOS notes that the large-scale modern water
system, which was introduced in the 1960s and later,
There is thus some discrepancy between what is
greatly impacts the visual integrity of the nominated
proposed in terms of values and what is nominated on
property. Furthermore, the large-scale development of
the ground.
the city has engulfed the oasis and changed its setting
dramatically. For example, As-Seef Oasis (NP-001, NP-
The nomination dossier proposes an equal assessment
002, and NP-003), where over the last few years, vast
and treatment of traditional and modern typologies,
areas of new urban development have occupied the
methods, techniques and materials for buildings, farms,
empty spaces of small sabkha-s, and where the
infrastructure and water management networks and it
traditional architecture of the villages that were
thus cannot be said that the oasis reflects longstanding
supposed to be located at the edges of the groves have
traditional practices over time.
been mostly replaced with modern urbanization, have
left the palm groves with weak visual and physical
Accordingly, ICOMOS does not consider that the
connectivity.
justification presented by the State Party, based on the
concept of an ‘evolving’ landscape, can be supported.
ICOMOS notes, furthermore, that future plans for both
urban development and water irrigation networks may
impact the integrity of the property. Indeed, the

60
regulations for the farms permit developments on the ‘can be too great a disruption, which changes the nature
edges of roads and highways, as well as up to 30% of our profound understanding, and thus the expression
inside the plantations. For example, urban conservation of heritage values.’
approaches required for Al-‘Oyun Village (NP-010)
conflict with the plan adopted for the village. Also, the Al- ICOMOS considers that the widespread practice of
Asfar lake (NP-012) would certainly be affected with the undocumented heavy-handed restoration and/or
creep of urbanism towards its southern border. Such reconstruction impacts the authenticity of the historic
threats reduce the ability of the property to be buildings and urban fabric components of the nominated
considered complete and free of current development property in an irreversible manner.
threats.
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the conditions of
Authenticity integrity and authenticity have not been met for the serial
The nomination dossier relates the authenticity of the property.
whole serial site to ‘the authentic environment’, as the
dynamics of the oasis ecosystem are present throughout Criteria under which inscription is proposed
the component parts on a massive scale and with a The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria
unique historical depth that goes back thousands of years. (iii), (iv) and (v).
And that despite the rapid development of the nominated
property during the 1960s and the 1970s, it preserved its Criterion (iii): be a unique or at least exceptional
authenticity by the preservation of archaeological sites, testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which
historic buildings and pre-historic landscape features, is living or which has disappeared;
setting it apart from other oases in the world.
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the
grounds that Al-Ahsa Oasis is a unique cultural
The State Party argues that the rapid development,
landscape and an exceptional testimony to the
modernization and transformation of the territory has
sedentary human occupation, and the long oasis cultural
secured the livelihood and sustainability of the oasis up to
tradition in the Gulf region, that has continued up to the
the present as an evolving cultural landscape.
present. It is manifested in surviving historic fortresses,
mosques, springs, canals and other water management
ICOMOS notes that the nomination dossier applies the
arrangements, as well as al-Qaysariyah market for food,
concept of an evolving landscape (i.e. the oasis is
spices and fabric. Al-Ahsa is also rich in archaeological
continuously evolving) in a way that raises questions
sites.
pertaining to the authenticity of the built environment and
the water management network.
As set out above, ICOMOS considers that an equal
assessment and treatment of traditional and modern
In response to ICOMOS’ Interim Report, the State Party
typologies, methods, techniques and materials for
argued that “Al-Ahsa Oasis is unique and sustainable,
buildings, farms, infrastructure and water management
but it has already out-grown from just being an oasis to a
networks cannot be said to reflects an outstanding
more developed landscape”. Furthermore, the State
reflection of a longstanding cultural tradition over time.
Party argued that with regards to evolving living heritage,
integrity and authenticity should be assessed differently
ICOMOS also notes that the inclusion of selected
to allow for modifications to conserve its function and
isolated buildings while excluding villages and large
living status, referring to “ICOMOS 2015 Thematic
areas of historic urban fabric within the property or its
Study, Cultural Heritage of Water (the cultural heritage of
landscape surroundings do not support the concept of
water in the Middle East and Maghreb)”.
cultural landscape or adequately reflect all the
component parts of an oasis.
ICOMOS acknowledges that the oasis landscape has
continuously evolved since the Dilmun period. However,
ICOMOS considers that criterion (iii) has not been
it is the view of ICOMOS that the nature and extent of
justified.
change that has occurred over the last 40 years are of a
totally different nature from the pre-1960s developments.
Criterion (iv): be an outstanding example of a type of
ICOMOS considers that the present agriculture and building, architectural or technological ensemble or
production of dates in the oasis is a modern global mass landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in
production that differs essentially from the traditional human history;
agriculture that used to support the livelihood of the This criterion is justified by the State Party on the
community in pre-modern times. grounds that Al-Ahsa is an outstanding example of the
oasis landscape. It is a unique geo-cultural landscape.
Whereas some modern interventions to support the Its history goes back for millennia of different phases of
persistence of traditional practices could be supported, human history and preserves today traces
as suggested by the ICOMOS study, the introduction of representative of all its stages. The vast area of the
modern interventions that replace traditional practices

61
oasis includes some 2.5 million palm trees, making it the 4 Factors affecting the property
largest oasis in the world.
The State Party identifies two groups of issues affecting
ICOMOS notes the historical importance that Al-Ahsa the nominated property: firstly, environmental issues such
acquired in the past. However, the impact of grand-scale as the decline of water resources, sand invasion,
modernizations of plantations, water management salinization and soil loss, which are escalated by global
networks and urban development next to the widespread warming; and secondly, issues caused by modernization
use of heavy-handed restorations and reconstructions such as major modernization of constructions and
undermine the integrity and authenticity of what remains agriculture, including agricultural infrastructure such as
today of the historic Al-Ahsa. What now survives cannot water works and waste-water disposal networks, as well
be said to reflect a significant stage in human history. as changes in legal systems that have replaced
community and social norms and practices; and the great
ICOMOS considers that criterion (iv) has not been impact of modernization is a consequence of the
justified. discovery and exploitation of oil since the 1950s.

Criterion (v): be an outstanding example of a traditional According to the nomination dossier, oil mining is not
human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is considered an issue with any present or future impact on
representative of a culture (or cultures), or human the property, despite the fact that the biggest oil field in the
interaction with the environment especially when it has world, “Al-Ghawwar”, is adjacent to Al-Ahsa Oasis.
become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible
change; ICOMOS notes that the delay in implementing the
protection law for the ‘Urban Heritage’ in Al-Ahsa is
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the risking the disappearance of large sections of the
grounds that Al-Ahsa is an exceptional example of traditional urban fabric. The extent of the demolition that
human interaction with the environment. It perpetuated a has taken place recently in the Al-Kut neighbourhood,
great oasis throughout the millennia shaping the and the one located towards the east of Al-Qaysariyah
landscape in uninterrupted development. Al-Ahsa (NP-005) is certainly a large-scale irreversible loss of
illustrates the main significant phases of human urban value.
settlement in the Arabian Peninsula.
ICOMOS notes that many of the future plans for the
ICOMOS notes that Al-Ahsa is a greatly modernized development of the oasis are partially incompatible with
oasis, with highly developed plantations, water the conservation of the attributes of the proposed
management networks, urban developments, Outstanding Universal Value. Those plans are focused
infrastructure and agricultural mass production industry, more on the economic development of the Oasis (e.g.
with little or no differentiation between historic elements, allowing large scale plantations to be developed in the
approaches and ways of life in the oasis on the one north of the Northern Oasis (NP-002)). Also, urban
hand and on the other hand, modern elements, conservation approaches required for Al-‘Oyun Village
technology, approaches and ways of life. The lack of (NP-010) conflict with the plan adopted for the village. In
differentiation obscures any attributes that may addition, Al-Asfar Lake (NP-012) would certainly be
represent the persistence of a traditional way of life in an affected by the creep of urbanism towards its southern
oasis and its relationship with the natural environment. border.

ICOMOS considers that the long-standing traditional ICOMOS considers that the future plans for substituting
relationship between the nominated property and the the traditional irrigation systems (saih and mugharraf),
natural landscape of the surrounding desert environment with the 1970’s water irrigation system, and to further
disappeared as a result of great developments since the modify this with the automated dripping-water system,
1960s and 1970s. This makes it hardly possible today to adopted and presented by the Irrigation Directorate,
grasp the concept of an oasis and the way it functioned might have an irreversible impact on Al-Asfar Lake’s
in Al-Ahsa, despite the great number of palm trees. natural ecological system, and on the growing of many
other traditional crops beside dates.
ICOMOS considers that criterion (v) has not been
justified. ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the
nominated property are environmental issues,
In conclusion, ICOMOS does not consider that the particularly those accelerated by climate change as well
criteria have been demonstrated. as modernization and development pressures for urban
areas, farms and irrigation networks accelerated by the
impact of oil discovery, exploitation and the consequent
developments.

62
5 Protection, conservation and Protection
management Environmental protection of the nominated property is
covered by Articles 2, 5, 6, 7 and 32 of the 1992 Basic
Boundaries of the nominated property Law (referred to as “the constitution of Saudi Arabia”).
and buffer zone However, the enforcement of the law is not always applied
The boundaries of the nominated property are delineated outside the main industrial sites.
as follows:
Development is regulated by the ‘Public Environmental
- Agricultural and natural components (NP-001, NP- Law’ (No. M/34 dated 16 October 2001). There are also
002, NP-003, NP-010 & NP-012) are defined by the legal instruments addressing the conservation of
natural lines of oasis palm trees or natural features, biodiversity, including:
watering or drainage canals, oil pipes, and
infrastructure features such as roads or electricity - Agriculture and Veterinary Quarantine Regulations,
lines; 1975;
- Historic buildings and built up areas (NP-004, NP- - The Uncultivated Land Act, 1978;
005, NP-006, NP-007, NP-009 and the village part of - The Forest and Rangelands Act, 1979;
NP-010) are defined by the actual historic buildings - - The Water Resources Conservation Act, 1980;
and in most cases including an extra strip of land - The Saudi Wildlife Authority Act, 1986;
outside the building to protect outer facades; and - The Fishing Exploitation and Protection of Live
- Archaeological sites (NP-008 & NP-011) are entirely Aquatic Resources Act, 1987;
fenced areas belonging to SCTH. - The Wildlife Protected Areas Act, 1995;
- The Wild Animals and Birds Hunting Act, 1999;
The twelve component parts of the nominated property - Trade in Endangered Wildlife Species Act, 2000;
are buffered by seven buffer zones, which are grouped - Environmental Code, 2002.
in three sectors. According to the nomination dossier,
the aim of the delineation of the buffer zones is to: Water management for landscape and agricultural lands is
- Prevent encroachments; regulated by the Ministry of Water and Electricity (MOWE),
- Direct development projects; and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), and the Al-Hassa
- Preserve the nominated property’s visual integrity. Irrigation and Drainage Authority (HIDA). They function
under the ‘Regulation Concerning the Protection of Water
ICOMOS notes that the boundaries of the nominated Sources’, issued by Royal Decree No. M/34 of year
property include selected single buildings in isolation 1400 H/1979 AD.
from their immediate surroundings. In addition, the
boundaries do not illustrate recognizable relationships Traditionally, Islamic civil law was implemented, as
between the different component parts or with the desert codified under the Ottoman Empire prior to World War I
natural environment, in contradiction to the concept of a in Majallat al-Ahkam al-Adlia (abbreviated as Majallat).
cultural landscape. Islamic civil law with regards to regulating water
resources management is still respected today as Article
1 of the ‘Regulations Concerning the Protection of Water
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of
Sources’ of 1979 states that “all sources of water are
the nominated property and its buffer zones are not
public property provided that rights established
adequate to illustrate a cultural landscape as they do not
according to Islamic law are not infringed upon.”
show harmonious and understandable relationships
among the different component parts and between the
Archaeological sites and listed historic buildings are
property and its natural environment.
protected by the 1972 Saudi Antiquity Law, managed by
the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National
Ownership Heritage (SCTH).
The nominated property is in both private and public
ownership. The majority of the twelve component parts The urban heritage within the nominated property is
and seven buffer zones are privately owned. Thousands protected by the ‘Law on Antiquities, Museums and
of agricultural parcels in the oasis and urban plots in the Urban Heritage’, approved in 2014. Article 46 of the law
villages and built up areas are privately owned by as many defines the coordination mechanism between SCTH, the
owners. The archaeological sites are owned by SCTH. Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs (MoMRA) and
Infrastructure, such as roads and water management the Ministry of Interior pertaining to the protection and
systems as well as natural resources such as mountain development of urban heritage areas.
and desert areas, is owned by the government. Hundreds
of agricultural parcels and urban buildings and plots are Urban regulations on the local level are defined by ‘Al-
tied to the Islamic endowment system (waqf), which Ahsa 2030 Master Plan’ and the ‘Indicative Plan Report
implies that some properties are managed by the Ministry for Al-Ahsa Metropolitan area’ (2014), which
of Endowments (Awqaf) and others are managed by synchronizes studies, approval plans, and regulations
caretakers or heirs. that are issued by MoMRA. The Plan protects
agricultural land located within an urban context, which

63
is relevant to component part NP-003 and buffer zones ii with the oasis should be promoted: this would reveal the
and iii. importance of the biodiversity living in the oasis itself and
the environments surrounding it, and the role of local
The municipal planning documents define Al-Hofuf’s people which should be better known or better specified in
historic core as a “special environment district”, and thus order to better manage the natural components of their
it is regulated accordingly. oasis.

The 2009 plan for the historic centre identifies “priority Traditional date palm agricultural techniques are
heritage axes”, allocating public spaces for cultural complemented with modern techniques aiming to improve
activities but doesn’t address conservation needs of the the quality and quantity of the oasis output, which
historic urban fabric. constitutes a major share of the Saudi national production
of dates.
ICOMOS notes that the municipal planning documents
acknowledge the importance of preserving the existing The Date Palm Research Centre (DPRC) was established
plantations. However, its regulations permit in 1983 at King Faisal University in Al-Hofuf and aims to
developments on the edges of roads and highways. be “the leading regional centre and a worldwide
Furthermore, it permits development inside the recognized pole of excellence in date palm research and
plantations up to 30%, which threatens the integrity and development”. The nomination dossier argues that the
authenticity of the plantations with modern constructions. massive production of the high quality dates of Al-Ahsa is
“a proof of the extraordinary vitality” of the oasis and of its
ICOMOS notes that the 2014 law of Antiquities, extraordinary “state of conservation” as a living productive
Museums and Urban Heritage should provide adequate landscape.
protection to historic urban fabric, historic buildings and
archaeological sites within the property. However, the As for the urban fabric, Al-‘Oyun Village (component part
law is not yet effectively implemented. NP-010) is mostly in a ruinous dilapidated state and
mostly deserted. The nomination dossier states the start
ICOMOS notes that landscape and agricultural lands are of a “precise survey of the historic core” as a step towards
not protected by Saudi law and that the protection of the the conservation and rehabilitation of the village.
ecosystem in and around Al-Asfar Lake is not ensured.
Historic buildings and archaeological sites are managed
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the legal and maintained by SCTH. Interventions have been made
protection in place for the nominated property and its to some monuments over the last twenty years, some of
buffer zones is not effectively implemented and is in which were restored or reconstructed and others were
need of further development and synchronization with reused. SCTH carried out the restoration project for Qasr
development plans. Ibrahim, Al-Mubarraz and the fortress of Al-Hofuf. Al-
Turath Foundation carried out the restoration of Al-
Amiriyah School, which included partial reconstruction,
Conservation
and Jawatha Mosque.
The conservation state of the nominated property is
established by the State Party based on the idea of
ICOMOS notes that no adequate records or reports of the
“evolving” landscape as the driving concept. The aspects
state of conservation exist for the different component
are addressed within a holistic vision:
parts of the nominated property. Although the additional
information submitted by the State Party as per ICOMOS’
- The natural and landscape features such as lake,
request includes some records, the available records
mountains, caves, springs, etc.;
remain either outdated or not conforming with international
- The oasis eco-system including gardens, canals,
best practices for documentation of cultural heritage.
palms, etc.; and
- The urban fabric, historic buildings and
ICOMOS is of the view that the premise that “landscape is
archaeological sites.
never static, but an evolutionary phenomenon in constant
transformation” does not mean that appropriate records,
The assessment of the state of conservation by the
monitoring and reporting on the state of conservation are
nomination dossier is based on the understanding that
not needed for preserving the significance of the property
“landscape” is never “static”, but an “evolutionary”
and its integrity and authenticity.
phenomenon in constant transformation. Thus, the state
of conservation assessment addresses the “directions” of
In response to ICOMOS’ Interim Report, the State Party
the ongoing transformation.
argued that they “are in the process to review the output
documents and to prepare a more detailed update.”
The oasis eco-system was subject to an in-depth
investigation in 2013, which concluded that Al-Asfar Lake
ICOMOS notes that the widespread practice of heavy-
is a long-established and functional ecosystem that shows
handed restoration and/or reconstruction affects the
some resilience to considerable pollutant loads entering
authenticity and the state of conservation of the historic
the system. In addition, the lake system supports
buildings and urban fabric components of the property.
significant bird life. Studies on the biodiversity associated

64
While most of the said practices were observed in the nominated property, its buffer zones and the larger urban
recent past, the nomination dossier does not include clear and natural setting, in order to ensure their conformity with
indications that a major change of approach and the requirements and principles of the World Heritage
philosophy of conservation have been adopted by the Convention.
State Party.
An independent ‘Scientific Committee’ will be established
In response to ICOMOS’ Interim Report, the State Party to provide technical advice to local leadership for the
expressed their understanding of the concerns raised by management of the nominated property.
ICOMOS and stated: “We are in dialogue with our regional
partners and took active measures to minimize the impact Policy framework: management plans and
of such works and we are ready to cooperate with whom arrangements, including visitor management
WHC deems to be important in this regards”. and presentation

Within the framework of the ‘Management Plan


ICOMOS notes that reversing such widespread practices
Guidelines’, which was prepared within the process of
that have been adopted for a long time requires the
preparing the nomination of the property, a number of
implementation of long-term training programs. Such
initiatives for the conservation and development of the
changes will be greatly appreciated as they should
oasis have been identified as follows:
positively impact future interventions. However, damage
and loss of authenticity that resulted from previous
Landscape initiatives:
interventions cannot be reversed.

- The revitalization and re-creation of Al-Ahsa Oasis’s


In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the state of traditional environment in a selected area;
conservation of the nominated property overall is not - Water pollution control and ecological revitalization of
proven to be adequate. Al-Asfar Lake;
- Heritage Impact Assessments for all development
Management projects;
- Coordination of the private sector to create modern
Management structures and processes, tourist facilities.
Including traditional management processes
Architectural and urban heritage initiatives include the
The different component parts and aspects of the
preservation and revitalization of the remaining heritage
nominated property are currently managed by five national
fabric of Al-Hofuf and Al-‘Oyun village.
level main stakeholders and ten local level main
stakeholders. The coordination of all stakeholders is
Archaeology and cultural initiatives:
carried out by ‘The Oasis Higher Management Committee’
under the direction of HH the Governor of Al-Ahsa, which
- Creation of a new museum;
meets monthly.
- Launch archaeological excavation campaigns and
archaeological research work;
The process of nominating the property initiated a series
- Creation of visitor center;
of meetings of local stakeholders and a ‘Management
- Survey, listing and preservation whenever possible of
seminar’ was organized for all main stakeholders in
remaining traditional components of the oasis;
October 2016 and a second seminar was scheduled for
- Revitalization, maintenance and reuse projects for
March 2017.
major historic buildings;
- Control, coordination and supervision of ongoing
A new Management Scheme has been formally approved
private sector projects in Jawatha area and Al-Qarah
by the Governor of Al-Ahsa, which aims to better
caves;
coordinate and integrate management mechanisms of the
- Organization of an international scientific conference
oasis at Municipal and Provincial levels on the one hand,
on “Oasis and Development”.
and on the other coordinating field activities with the
headquarters of MoMRA and SCTH in Riyadh.
The budget for the preservation and revitalization of the
nominated property is allocated by the central Saudi
The new Management Scheme formed a ‘Higher
government through the Ministry of Municipalities and
Committee’ (HC) and a ‘Site Management Unit’ (SMU)
Rural Affairs (MoMRA), and managed by four main
based in Al-Ahsa Municipality.
stakeholders: SCTH, Al-Ahsa Central Municipality, the
Ministry of Agriculture and HIDA.
According to the nomination dossier, an Action Plan will
be completed and submitted to the World Heritage Centre
The local SCTH Heritage Department consists of 15 staff,
as additional information. The HC will be responsible for
including the director (an archaeologist), two museum
overseeing the implementation of the Action Plan.
experts, an administrator and eight site guards.
The SMU will play the role of site manager and will be
responsible for verifying all planning regulations for the

65
The tourism staff consists of 17 employees engaged make it easy for visitors to grasp the totality of the
mainly in tourism-related public relations and media tasks. property, given its great size and individual components.

Other local staff of the Municipality, the Irrigation and ICOMOS notes that efforts for interpretation, presentation
Drainage Authority, the Department of Agriculture, Al- and visitor management of the property need further
Ahsa National Park, as well as staff at headquarters of development to address the vast area of the property and
these bodies, are also engaged in the management of the the big distances between the different component parts.
nominated property.
Involvement of local communities
The nominated property is the first Saudi nomination of a
‘cultural landscape’. SCTH is working on developing the The preparation for nominating the property brought
number and professional qualifications of its staff in together a number of grassroots organizations, the civil
managing this kind of property. society and the local university. The management plan
foresees an important role for the civil society and local
According to the nomination dossier, the intended community in supporting the sustainable development and
development of a comprehensive strategy for the conservation of the property.
sustainable development of the oasis will include risk
preparedness. The SMU will oversee the realization of the In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that special attention
risk management strategy in coordination with national is needed for mechanisms of coordination and
security and civil defense. collaboration of the large number of stakeholders for the
management of the different components of the
Sustainable cultural tourism strategy is one of the priorities property. Also, attention is needed for capacity building,
of the site management plan, with the intention to offer a interpretation, presentation and visitor management, and
holistic presentation of the property including tangible and for including the local communities and traditional
intangible aspects. It is part of a large-scale regional knowledge in the conservation of the cultural and natural
tourism plan for the Eastern Province and the Gulf coastal components of the property.
area.

Visitors to Al-Ahsa have increased in number over the


6 Monitoring
past few years. There are seven licensed hotels offering
668 rooms and furnished apartments offering another
There is no formal monitoring regime in place, but HC and
1,664 rooms, and eleven tour operators active in the city,
SMU are working on bypassing current administrative
which are expected to grow in number. There are 40
barriers and establishing a mechanism of coordination
travel agencies and 15 licensed tourist guides, who are
with different stakeholders. The nomination dossier
also expected to grow in number.
identifies monitoring indicators according to the following
groups:
IUCN notes that “the need for the management of the
oasis to include a specific component of studying,
- Environmental indicators
understanding, monitoring and conserving the biodiversity
- Agricultural indicators
of the oasis as an integral part of its heritage protection
- Conservation indicators
and sustainability. Focus should be given to the
- Planning indicators
biodiversity within the oasis as well as surrounding it.
- Tourism indicators
Regular monitoring of the water quality in main water
bodies of significance to waterfowl and other related
SMU will gather and elaborate the reports on a monthly
biodiversity groups is also deemed important for the
basis and statistics from different stakeholders to form an
maintenance of natural habitats of the property. The
annual report on the ‘State of Conservation’ for the
above suggested measures need to take into account the
nominated property. The report will be approved by SCTH
past, current and foreseen impacts of climate change on
headquarters.
key ecosystem services provided by the property.”
ICOMOS notes that, in general, the indicators identified by
ICOMOS notes that it is not clear how the SMU will work
the State Party are appropriate. However, a more precise
within the Municipality and how it will relate to all other
periodicity is recommended.
stakeholders and authorities. Also, the mechanism of how
SMU will work with the HC for an effective implementation
is not clear. In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the monitoring
regime, once in place, could be considered valid in a
ICOMOS considers that capacity building programs are general sense, but could be improved by more precise
required for the SMU personnel in conservation theory periodicity.
and methodologies.

ICOMOS notes that the chosen location for the new


museum at the southernmost part of the property will not

66
7 Conclusions ICOMOS also considers that the integrity of the
nominated property is not demonstrated as the large-
Al-Ahsa is clearly important as an oasis that has long scale modern water management networks, and the
time depth having been inhabited since antiquity, and modern urban developments since the 1960s, have
developed over time in response to changing political greatly impacted the property. Furthermore, the property
and historical circumstances. It was also important in is threatened by the future development plans for Al-
economic terms when linked to the network of caravan Ahsa.
routes across the Arabian Peninsula. The defining
characteristics of this oasis were its cultivation of dates, In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the property has
introduced in the Dilmun period and the complex water not demonstrated Outstanding Universal Value.
management and drainage systems that underpinned
this cultivation. 8 Recommendations

In the past 50 years, Al-Ahsa has rapidly developed to Recommendations with respect to inscription
become the largest oasis in the world and one that now ICOMOS recommends that Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving
functions on an industrial scale. In the process major Cultural Landscape, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, should
transformations have taken place to the physical as well not be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
as social structures. The date palm plantations have
been much extended, the canal system extensively re-
engineered and new urban areas developed resulting in
loss of most traditional buildings. Given these changes,
Al-Ahsa Oasis can no longer be seen to reflect mainly
traditional water management practices or the social
systems connecting traditional settlements to the farming
and desert landscapes.

Whereas in most cultural landscape some modern


interventions have been introduced to support the
persistence of traditional practices, at Al-Ahsa the
interventions have all but replaced traditional practices. It
is thus difficult to see Al-Ahsa as a cultural landscape
that reflects persistent cultural traditions involving
interaction with nature.

ICOMOS notes that in evaluating nominations of evolved


landscapes that are also continuing landscapes, as well
as defining what has organically evolved, there is a need
to show what aspects are continuing, and the limits of
change over time that will be needed to sustain the
attributes of Outstanding Universal Value and maintain
the evidence of evolution over time.

A further issue is that what has been nominated is not


the whole oasis or even a substantial part of it but a
selection of isolated components that do not add up to
the idea of an overall cultural landscape and cannot
readily be seen to reflects all aspects of the way the
oasis functioned traditionally through interacting with its
natural environment.

Thus, an evolved landscape is one where the current form


of the landscape or aspects of it clearly reflects, through
its ‘component features’, the way it has evolved over time
and these need to persist. ICOMOS therefore considers
that the identification of the nominated property as an
‘evolving’ landscape is inappropriate as it fails to identify
the permissible limits of change. Furthermore, it does not
pay attention to the difference in nature, approach, scale,
materials and technology between the modern
development plans and expansions since the 1960s on
the one hand, and the pre-modern traditional evolving of
the oasis on the other hand.

67
Map showing the boundaries of the nominated property
Al-Qubbah Mosque in Qasr Ibrahim

Al-Ahsa Oasis, irrigated fields


IV Cultural properties
A Arab States
New nominations

B Asia – Pacific
New nominations

C Europe – North America


New nominations
Technical Evaluation Mission
An ICOMOS technical evaluation mission visited the
Historic Monuments and Sites of nominated property from 24 to 29 September 2017.
Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton)
Additional information received by ICOMOS
(China) A letter was sent to the State Party on 5 October 2017
No 1561 requesting additional information on the selection of
components; thematic framework of maritime silk
roads/routes; shipwreck protection; climate change
impacts; concepts of restoration; buffer zone regulations;
tourism management; and the status of the management
Official name as proposed by the State Party plan.
Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou
(Zayton) An Interim Report was provided to the State Party in
January 2018 summarising the issues identified by the
Location ICOMOS World Heritage Panel. Consultation meetings
Fujian Province occurred between ICOMOS and representatives of the
China State Party to discuss these issues on 23 November 2017
and 8 February 2018.
Brief description
Quanzhou (known as Zayton in Arabic and western texts) Additional information was received from the State Party
was a prominent node in the maritime trading routes in the on 2 November 2017 and 24 February 2018 and has been
10th to 14th centuries. This serial property consists of incorporated into the relevant sections of this evaluation
sixteen components, including the remains of historical report.
dock structures, a stone bridge, pagodas, archaeological
sites, important inscriptions, and statues, temples and Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
shrines of diverse faiths (Buddhism, Confucianism, 14 March 2018
Manichaeism, Islam). Together, these components are
nominated to represent the geocultural influence and
intercultural exchanges between China, southeast Asian 2 The property
ports and further afield. Quanzhou is therefore nominated
as part of the complex phenomena of the Great Maritime Description of the Serial Nomination
Routes or Maritime Silk Routes. Note: Due to limitations on the length of evaluation reports, not all
sites in this nominated property have been described in this
Category of property report. In the nomination dossier and the additional information,
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in Article I each component site is described in text and images, including
of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a serial their individual histories, state of conservation, contribution to the
nomination of sixteen sites. proposed Outstanding Universal Value of the serial property, and
key attributes.

This nomination consists of a series of sixteen


1 Basic data components selected to demonstrate the historical
importance of China’s port city of Quanzhou (historically
Included in the Tentative List known as Zayton in Arabic and western texts) during the
20 January 2016 Song and Yuan dynasties. During this period, Quanzhou
was a strategically important location within maritime
International Assistance from the World Heritage trade routes that facilitated exchanges between Europe
Fund for preparing the Nomination and Asia. These routes and their histories are referred to
None as the ‘Maritime Silk Routes’.

Date received by the World Heritage Centre The sixteen sites total 101.14 ha and each is surrounded
26 January 2017 by a buffer zone (which together total 581.82 ha).

Background The sixteen components are divided thematically into three


This is a new nomination. groups: historic sites of maritime navigation and trade (8
components); multi-cultural sites (6 components); and
Consultations historic sites of urban infrastructure (2 components).
ICOMOS consulted its International Scientific Committee
on Underwater Cultural Heritage, on Historic Towns and Historic Sites of Maritime Navigation and Trade
Villages, and several independent experts. Wanshou Pagoda Is a five-storey stone pagoda
constructed between 1131-1162 (Song Dynasty), situated
at the highest point of Quanzhou Bay. The State Party
considers that it acted as a navigation marker for the port.

68
The component comprises an area of 16.7 ha, with a Tianhou Temple is the oldest and highest-level existing
buffer zone of 86.03 ha. A ‘calabash’-shaped top was temple for worship of the sea goddess Tianhou (or
added in 1981. Goddess Mazu). The temple was constructed in 1196
(Song Dynasty). The Song Dynasty stone foundation
Liusheng Pagoda is a five-storey stone pagoda remains, and the wooden structure preserves the original
overlooking Shihu Dock. Construction began in 1111 features of the Qing Dynasty. The main hall houses a
(Song Dynasty), and a restoration financed by a maritime statue of Tianhou, and a large-scale wall painting titled
businessman occurred in 1336-1369 (Yuan Dynasty), ‘Crowning the Heavenly Queen’. The Temple was
reflecting the prosperity of Quanzhou in the 14th century. restored in the 1990s with money from overseas Chinese
The State Party believes that the pagoda acted as a philanthropists. The component comprises an area of
navigation marker for the main channel. The pagoda was 0.78 ha, with a buffer zone of 4.31 ha.
restored in 1982. The component is bounded on some
sides by a modern container port and other industrial The Kiln Sites at Jinjiaoyi Hill of Cizao Kilns were built in
buildings. The component comprises an area of 2.34 ha, the 10th century and abandoned in the 14th century; and
with a buffer zone of 29.29 ha. were important sites of production of export porcelain,
evidence of the prosperity of trade in these periods.
Shihu Dock is located in the outer port of Quanzhou, and Quanzhou has a high density of such kilns - more than
is believed to have been constructed between 713-741 150 are known. Cizao kiln products have been found in
(Tang Dynasty). The dock has an important strategic archaeological excavations in south-east Asia, South Asia
position, facing the mouth of the main channel. In 1068 and East Africa, and in shipwrecks in the Xisha Islands
(Song Dynasty) an over-water fortress was built here, and South China Sea. Excavations in 2002-2003 have
along with a bridge, paths and stairs. The dock was identified four dragon kilns, a workshop, and many
restored several times during the Song Dynasty, and the artefacts. The component comprises an area of 6.45 ha,
Song Dynasty stone base remains. The component with a buffer zone of 61.7 ha.
comprises an area of 3.13 ha, with a buffer zone of
11.23 ha. Multicultural Sites
Located in the centre of the ancient city, the Confucius
The Meishan Dock and Wenxing Dock (Estuary Docks) Temple of Quanzhou is the largest existing complex
were built in the Song Dynasty, and are located at the featuring architectural elements of the Song, Yuan, Ming
juncture of the river and the sea. These stone docks were and Qing Dynasties in south-east China. Constructed
important for commerce and the coastal defence of Fashi from 976 to 984, the temple is notable for its age and
Port, one of the most prosperous of Quanzhou’s ancient grand size. The component comprises an area of 3.59 ha,
ports. There are temples near the docks for the worship with a buffer zone of 8.15 ha.
of the sea god; and a small stone ‘casket’-shaped pagoda
stands on Wenxing Dock. Surveys in the 1950s and A Stone Statue of Lao Tze (the founder of Chinese
1980s have found a shipbuilding site, stone anchors and Taoism) made in the Song Dynasty is located in a scenic
several stone Islamic tombs in this area. There is one reserve outside Quanzhou, and represents the cultural
shipwreck located within the land area of this component. diversity of this area. This component comprises an area
These docks were restored in 2002. The component of 1.9 ha, with a buffer zone of 4.25 ha.
comprises an area of 19.78 ha, with a buffer zone of
56.82 ha. The Kaiyuan Temple is one of the oldest structures in
Quanzhou, and is notable for its incorporation of Asian
The Jiuri Mountain Wind-Praying Carvings Carvings are and western cultural influences, including Buddhist and
records of prayers and ceremonies for smooth sailing, Hindu elements. The temple was built in 686 (Tang
and reflect the uncertainty of the winds. Ceremonies were Dynasty), and its layout has changed over time. There are
organised to pray to King Tongyuan, god of the sea. There many structures within the temple, including a scripture
are 10 well-documented carvings, the earliest dated repository with 27,000 scriptures. This component
between 1174 and 1266, reflecting sailing traditions comprises an area of 7.23 ha, with a buffer zone of
during different seasons of the year. In 1991, a UNESCO 9.06 ha.
‘Maritime Silk Roads’ mission visited this site and left their
own carved inscription. The component comprises an Two Islamic Tombs for the Third and Fourth Sahabahs in
area of 11.4 ha, with a buffer zone of 45 ha. China date from the 7th century (Tang Dynasty) and
feature Chinese and Arabic architectural styles. They
Zhenwu Temple was for the worship and the offer of were restored in the Yuan Dynasty, and again in 1962.
sacrifices to Zhenwu Dadi, a Taoist deity and god of the Zheng He visited these tombs in 1417 (Ming Dynasty)
sea. Constructed between 967-990 (Song Dynasty), the before his voyage to the west. This component comprises
preserved Song Dynasty features include the stone base, an area of 4.08 ha, with a buffer zone of 17.58 ha.
platform base, section of pavement, and carved lions on
the staircases. The wooden features were restored in the Located in downtown Quanzhou, the Qingjing Mosque
Qing Dynasty. The component comprises an area of (Masjid a-Ashab) is one of China’s earliest mosques, and
3.84 ha, with a buffer zone of 72.76 ha. demonstrates the introduction of Islam to China via the
maritime trading routes. Constructed in 1009 (Song

69
Dynasty), the mosque was restored by a famous pilgrim continuous avenues, but represent multiple smaller
from Shiraz, Ahmad Bin Muhammad Quds in 1310. movements that, together, connected vast territories.
Inscriptions demonstrate that the mosque was built by
business people involved in maritime trade. This Quanzhou is located in at a junction between the ocean,
component comprises an area of 2.15 ha, with a buffer rivers and inland. The serial property proposed by the
zone of 5.23 ha. State Party is oriented around the transcontinental
maritime trade that flourished during China’s Song (960-
The Statue of Mani in the Cao’an Temple is the world’s 1279) and Yuan Dynasties (1279-1368), creating
only remaining stone statue of Mani, the founder of intensive flows of knowledge, culture and commodities.
Manichaeism or Zoroastrianism, which was introduced to China’s Quanzhou (known historically as Zayton) is
China around the 6th-7th century. Originally built in a thatch therefore likened to Venice in terms of its central
building between 1131 and 1162 (Song Dynasty), the importance, influence and prosperity during the 10th to
stone temple was built in the Yuan Dynasty. Some Yuan 14th centuries.
Dynasty features remain, and other elements were rebuilt
in the modern period. This component comprises an area In China, maritime trading shifted to coastal areas in the
of 2.69 ha, with a buffer zone of 6.91 ha. southeast, aided by favourable policies for trade in the
Song and Yuan Dynasties. During the Northern Song
Related Historic Sites of Urban Infrastructure Dynasty, Quanzhou became one of the two most
The site of Deji Gate (south city gate) is an excavated important strategic ports of China, together with
archaeological site, located in downtown Quanzhou. Built Guangzhou, and experienced prosperity, trade and
in 1230 (Song Dynasty), with repairs in the Yuan, Ming cultural exchange.
and Qing Dynasties, this is the only site remaining of the
seven gates of Quanzhou. Archaeological excavations in The State Party notes that Marco Polo, Odorico da
2001-2002 revealed the extent of the site, and carvings of Pordenone and Ibn Battuta, three famous travellers of the
Hinduism, Nestorianism, Islam and Buddhism in the Song Middle Ages, described the prosperous city of Zayton in
and Yuan Dynasties. This component comprises an area their writings. Chinese and Arab merchants settled in
of 0.39 ha, with a buffer zone of 4.7 ha. Quanzhou, facilitating exchanges between the Central
Plain area and the southeast coastal area.
The Luoyang Bridge (Wan’an Bridge) was built between
1056 and 1059 (Yuan Dynasty), and was the first flat- 3 Justification for inscription, integrity and
beam cross-sea stone bridge in China. The bridge made authenticity
land-sea transport possible and made Fuzhou and other
cities within the reach of Quanzhou port. The Song Comparative analysis
Dynasty foundations are preserved, along with Ming The comparative analysis has been presented by the
Dynasty restorations, and further restorations in 1993- State Party on two different levels. The first is to compare
1996. There is also a memorial to Cai Xiang (prefecture Quanzhou with relevant properties on the World Heritage
chief that facilitated the bridge project), Zhaohui Temple, List and Tentative Lists; and the second aims to justify the
and a number of pagodas, steles and statues. The selection of the sixteen nominated components within the
component comprises an area of 14.69 ha, with a large context of all available sites and features.
buffer zone of 209.8 ha.
For the first part, the State Party has compared Quanzhou
History and development with other port cities on the World Heritage List and
The movement of peoples, cultures, philosophies, Tentative Lists. Detailed comparisons are made with four
technologies, religions and commodities via maritime major World Heritage port cities associated with maritime
travel has a deep and continuing history in every region routes between Europe and Asia: Goa (India), Venice and
of the world. By the 2nd century BC, there were significant its Lagoon (Italy), Macao (China), and Malacca
movements between Japan, Korea and China, and (Malaysia). The State Party points out that unlike
between China and the Malay Peninsula and Straits Quanzhou, these were colonial ports and that they are not
region, connecting with Indian traders and beyond. This associated with trading in the 10th to 14th centuries. The
network of maritime transportation and trade ran through State Party also provided comparative information for
the waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, the Strait of other port cities in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean,
Malacca and the Indian Ocean using the monsoon six of which are on the World Heritage List: Kilwa Kisiwani
weather patterns to guide navigation. This nomination is (Tanzania), Vigan (Philippines), Hoi An (Vietnam),
associated with these complex maritime transportation Zanzibar (Tanzania), Lamu (Kenya), and Jeddah (Saudi
corridors and nodes. Arabia); and four on Tentative Lists: Alexandria (Egypt),
Butuan Archaeological Sites (Philippines), Qalhat (Oman)
The relatively recent term ‘maritime silk routes’ (or ‘great and Jakarta (Indonesia).
maritime routes’) is not straightforward, as it describes a
number of historical periods, regional encounters and It also draws many comparisons worldwide with the
diverse outcomes. The overland and maritime ‘silk routes’ individual components that comprise the nomination.
that connected goods and people in Asia, Europe, the
Middle East and Eastern Africa were also not single

70
The State Party has compared Quanzhou with other Outstanding Universal Value of the monuments and sites
Chinese port cities that form parts of the ‘Great Maritime in Quanzhou, and has not indicated its future intentions
Routes’, including: Guangzhou, Ningbo, Yangzhou, for future nominations within the thematic framing of the
Beihai, Zhangzhou, Fuzhou, Nanjing and Penglai. Each maritime silk routes.
of these has important cultural heritage features relating
to maritime routes and trade. The State Party considers ICOMOS agrees that the maritime routes, connections
that Quanzhou preserves the largest number of historic and legacies are worthy of greater attention. While the
buildings with different typologies linked to the maritime State Party recalls that the ICOMOS Gap Report (2004)
trade. The analysis also emphasizes the significance of identifies maritime routes as a gap, this is not entirely
the proposed property during the Song and Yuan relevant as the current nomination is a serial nomination
dynasties. within a single locality and is not nominated as a cultural
route. The ability of the serial nomination to be considered
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis has in the manner in which it is proposed therefore heavily
provided a relevant overview of historical port cities, relies on the ability of the selected components to
demonstrating the contrasts and continuities across the represent this early period of maritime trading and
geo-cultural region, including inter-cultural exchanges prominence.
and urban morphologies. However, in the additional
information provided in February 2018, the State Party In relation to the second dimension of the comparative
states that Quanzhou is not nominated as a port city, but analysis, the State Party has justified the selection of the
as a combination of historic and cultural monuments and components on the basis that they are outstanding
sites that have functional links oriented in a particular examples of the cultural heritage of China, and that many
period of openness in Chinese history. ICOMOS of them are also rare masterpieces of art, history, religion
considers this to be an important clarification, but that it and architecture. The State Party argues that many of
has not been the subject of comparative analysis. them could be nominated for inscription in the World
Heritage List in their own right. Furthermore, the State
The State Party also makes reference to the role of Party considers that the sixteen components are those
Quanzhou in the larger system of maritime routes in order that best meet the requirements for authenticity and
to justify the Outstanding Universal Value. However, the integrity, have the needed levels of protection and
State Party does not include any cultural routes on the management, have appropriate settings and are
World Heritage List or Tentative Lists in the comparative supported by local stakeholders. However, a systematic
analysis. analysis within the context of the overall number and
types of extant sites in Quanzhou from this period has not
The State Party’s argument relies on a UNESCO study been provided. In the additional information, the State
‘Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue 1988- Party acknowledges that there are some other sites that
1997’. However, ICOMOS considers that the extensive were not selected, such as the Meiling Site of Dehua
work associated with the inscription of sections of the Kilns, Tukeng Village and the larger area in the Qingyuan
land-based Silk Routes in China and Central Asia is Mountain area (where the Statue of Lao Tze is located).
relevant, as it provides an important methodological However, the State Party does not consider that the
model for the consideration of the maritime routes. integrity of the nominated serial property is affected by the
ICOMOS also notes that new transnational thematic work absence of further components.
on the concept of ‘Maritime Silk Routes’ has recently
commenced, and that an expert meeting to consider the The comparative analysis presented by the State Party
chronological and geographic scope of the Maritime Silk compares Quanzhou as a major hub or ‘node’ within the
Routes (MSR) and the potential for serial World Heritage complex histories of the ‘maritime silk routes’, and has
nominations was held in London in May 2017 (although presented a nomination of a group of monuments and
no reports are yet available). Therefore, the essential sites from this period. The comparative analysis does not
strategic work needed for this vast transnational theme is clearly justify the selection the sixteen individual
just beginning. While ICOMOS understands that the State components within the context of the city of Quanzhou.
Party has decided not to propose this nomination as a ICOMOS notes that while some of the components seem
cultural route, ICOMOS nevertheless considers that this potentially outstanding within China, others are not; and
is a gap in the comparative analysis. together they are too disparate to express the history of
maritime trade that is central to this nomination. These
ICOMOS is concerned that the current global thematic issues are explained in more detail in the section on
studies are not yet able to establish a clear overall ‘Integrity’ (below).
thematic framework on the maritime silk routes that could
guide the consideration of properties for the World In conclusion, ICOMOS does not consider that the sixteen
Heritage List. The State Party acknowledges the sites collectively portray the historical narrative to which
importance of this work, and has indicated its willingness they have been associated in the nomination dossier or
to work cooperatively to further develop the thematic the additional information provided by the State Party.
framework for the ‘maritime silk routes’. However, the
State Party does not consider it necessary to wait for this
work to be completed in order to recognise the

71
While the geo-cultural comparisons presented by the nomination dossier which focused on the maritime silk
State Party are sound and demonstrate that maritime routes. These additional elaborations were submitted late
trading routes are indeed a gap in the World Heritage List, in the evaluation cycle without the further comparative
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis does analysis that they suggest. ICOMOS therefore considers
not justify the specific serial approach undertaken or the that these are therefore unable to be supported within the
selection of the components of the property. ICOMOS context of the evaluation of this nomination.
considers that the comparative analysis does not justify
consideration of this property for the World Heritage List. The serial approach is justified by the State Party in order
to represent the most significant characteristics of three
identified dimensions of Quanzhou’s maritime trading
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
prominence in the 10th to 14th centuries, namely: the port
The nominated property is considered by the State Party
and the city’s infrastructure (docks, city gate, landmarks);
to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a serial cultural
the religious diversity of Quanzhou, including evidence of
property of sixteen components for the following reasons:
Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Manichaeism,
Nestorianism, Hinduism, and local belief systems; and the
• Quanzhou established itself as China’s most
industrial production of trade products (porcelain kilns).
prosperous port city and trade nexus for maritime
ICOMOS considers that the establishment of three
trade in the specific historical period of the 10th to
different typological groupings, and three different criteria
14th centuries;
have impacted negatively on the clarity of the nomination,
• Quanzhou fostered an exceptional maritime cultural
and that the serial approach has not been convincingly
tradition, manifested by its inter-connected and
applied.
efficient land-sea-river transportation infrastructure,
and its traditional techniques of shipbuilding and
ICOMOS notes that, for the most part, the idea of
craftsmanship of stone architecture;
‘maritime silk routes’ underpins the justification for
• The maritime trade routes can be seen as equivalent
Outstanding Universal Value, but that this concept is not
or parallel to the land silk routes across Eurasia from
yet well established. The network of trade routes across
the 13th-14th centuries;
the East and South China Seas and across the Indian
• Together the sixteen components are complemented
Ocean region changed significantly over time as certain
by a wealth of moveable heritage that provides a
polities embarked on trade and military campaigns, and
testimony to the peaceful co-existence and fusion of
port cities waxed and waned in their importance. The city
diverse cultures during this period;
formed part of a cluster of port cities in China and was part
• The nominated components exhibit a unique ocean- of a wider network of port cities in the Indian Ocean
river-land transportation system that supported the Region. It is important to read the significance of Zayton
flourishing of trans-regional trade and inter-cultural within this larger picture.
exchanges through the great port known historically
as Zayton; The strength of this justification is dependent on the
• The nominated property can demonstrate the growth selection of the components, and how they can be seen
of industries associated with the trade in a wide range to comprise an exceptional testimony to these histories,
of material products (such as porcelain, tea and silk); and in this location. In the same way that the overland silk
• Multicultural existence in Quanzhou is demonstrated routes have been unable to be represented by single
by the diverse religious components, as well as local locations (or even single countries or regions), ICOMOS
belief systems and practices concerning safety at sea. questions the basis of the serial approach adopted for this
nomination.
In the Additional Information provided by the State Party
in February 2018, several additional bases for the Integrity and authenticity
Outstanding Universal Value were given, including its
ability to portray three types of social and cultural Integrity
traditions that are demonstrative of interchanges through
trade: The rationale of this nomination rests on the serial
• an outstanding tradition of stone architecture and approach, and the justification of the 16 components. As
stonework craftsmanship; noted above, the State Party describes these according
• a tradition of maritime culture based on the richness to three themes, and focuses on the period from the
of culture and the arts and respect for religious 10th to 14th centuries. The integrity of the serial nomination
beliefs in ancient China; is therefore presented on two levels. The first argues that
the inclusion of sixteen sites ensures that the ability of the
• a tradition of mutual respect, inclusion, peaceful co-
existence and common prosperity and diverse serial property to convey its Outstanding Universal Value;
cultures. and the second discusses the various dimensions of the
integrity of the individual sites included in the nomination.
ICOMOS considers that the last two of these new
justifications were already presented in the nomination The State Party asserts that the serial nomination
provides a full picture and typical representation of
dossier, although at a high level of generality; and that the
first seems inconsistent with the case made in the initial various site types of the cultural heritage associated with

72
the important historical period for the City of Quanzhou ICOMOS considers that the integrity of the whole series
(10th to 14th centuries) when it functioned as a prosperous is not justified due to the unresolved questions concerning
international hub of maritime trade between east Asia, the selection of the components. The integrity of the
Europe and the Arab region. As a result, the State Party individual components varies, and some are vulnerable to
considers that all the elements necessary to express the development pressures.
Outstanding Universal Value have been included; and
that pressures of urban development and tourism are
Authenticity
well-controlled.
The authenticity of the serial nomination is based on the
However, as noted above, ICOMOS considers that the ability of the nominated components to express their
comparative analysis does not justify the selection of the historical processes and associations with the period of
components in relation to the proposed Outstanding Quanzhou’s maritime trading ascendancy (10th-
Universal Value. Many of the components are weakly 14th centuries). The authenticity of each component is
associated with the maritime trading routes that are also described by the State Party, focused on the material
central to this nomination. ICOMOS also notes that the elements that can be sourced to the Song Dynasty. Past
components of the property are spread across a relatively restorations are identified.
extensive area, and that the historical connections • Zhenwu Temple features some stone elements from
between them are not intact or well-understood. The the Song Dynasty, but the wooden elements date to
visual integrity of some components has been impacted the Qing Dynasty;
by developments; and many have been reconstructed or • The Confucius Temple features elements from the
substantially restored since the period when Quanzhou Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties;
played its pivotal role in the maritime trading networks. • Tianhou Temple has stone architectural elements
dated to the Song Dynasty, but the wooden elements
On the second measure, the material presented by the are dated to the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
State Party is comprehensive, and describes the state of • The tomb pavilion of the Islamic Tombs was restored
conservation, conservation history and intactness of each in 1962, and there were extensive conservation
component. In relation to the requirements of integrity for works to the tombs in the 1990s. Conservation work
a serial nomination, ICOMOS notes several issues: to the Qingjing Mosque also occurred in 2002.
• The Statue of Manu in the Cao’an Temple was built
• There is minimal evidence provided that Wanshou in the 12th century, but was rebuilt in 1339 in stone,
and Liusheng Pagodas were navigational aids; and with other elements were rebuilt in the modern
the setting of Liusheng Pagoda is affected by the period.
surrounding modern container port and other • Major conservation work was undertaken at Luoyang
industrial buildings. Bridge in 1993;
• Shihu Dock and the Estuary Docks are of interest to • The Kaiyuan Temple dates back to the Tang Dynasty
the articulation of Quanzhou as a port, however, the (686) and has been restored several times.
estuary docks are a combination of older dock
foundations with newer upper parts that have been ICOMOS notes that many components have been
restored in recent times and are affected by modern extensively restored or reconstructed. The State Party
developments that disrupt their context; and Shihu explains that these restorations have been done
Dock has been impacted by the nearby construction according to the original, but limited evidence has been
of a modern harbour. provided. In some cases, the State Party acknowledges
• The Stone Statue of Lao Tze is an interesting feature the need to rectify some losses of authenticity through
but has a relatively weak relationship with the unsympathetic conservation treatments.
proposed importance of Quanzhou and the maritime
trading routes. ICOMOS considers that the authenticity of the individual
• The landscape context of the Kiln Sites of Jinjiaoyi components is variable, especially given that the
Hill of Cizao is somewhat overwhelmed by the proposed Outstanding Universal Value of the serial
shelter covering the site and other new property is situated in relation to the Song and Yuan
constructions. There is also the construction of a new Dynasties.
highway near the buffer zone which has had an impact
on the setting.
Criteria under which inscription is proposed
• The Kaiyuan Temple is significant within China,
The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria
although its associations with the maritime trading
(ii), (iii) and (vi).
routes is not well-established.
• The Islamic Tombs are important within the Chinese
Criterion (ii): exhibit an important interchange of human
context, although not rare; and the setting of the
values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the
Qingjing Mosque is affected by urban development
world, on developments in architecture or technology,
pressures.
monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
• The site of the Deji Gate is an important local
archaeological site, although the specific links with This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
the maritime history of Quanzhou are not strong. that the selected components demonstrate the

73
importance and prosperity of the transcontinental be its birthplace and centre. ICOMOS considers that this
maritime trading routes during the 10th to the aspect is not well integrated into the arguments for
14th centuries. Quanzhou was the largest maritime trading Outstanding Universal Value, and that too little
port in Asia during this period when the so-called ‘Great information is presented to sustain this as a possible
Maritime Routes’ reached their full extent, enabling justification for criterion (iii). More work is needed to
substantial cultural exchanges. These exchanges are integrate an understanding of the relevance of Min-nan
demonstrated by the selected components through their culture with the justifications based on the history of
diverse religious beliefs and practices, urban cultures, maritime trade, and to demonstrate the relevance of this
architectural design and art. In additional information, the aspect for the selected components.
State Party claims that the evidence for this criterion is
based on the writings of Marco Polo, Odorico da ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
Pordenone and Ibn Battuta, and the remains of the docks, demonstrated.
shipwrecks and porcelain. The State Party also argues
that the components can demonstrate the easternmost
Criterion (vi): to be directly or tangibly associated with
dissemination of several world religions during this period.
events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with
artistic and literary works of outstanding universal
ICOMOS considers that this criterion is relevant to the
significance;
important history of cultural interchange that occurred
through transcontinental maritime trading in the 10th- This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
14th centuries. However, not all components of this that the nominated components are directly associated
nomination are relevant to this criterion, and ICOMOS with the significant events of Zheng He’s voyages to the
considers that the components weakly demonstrate the west, and the spread of Islam, Manichaeism, Hinduism
arguments put forward. Further transnational thematic and Nestorianism in the southeast coastal region of
research about the histories of the maritime trading China. The State Party also notes the direct associations
networks could assist in making a strengthened argument with important literary works, such as The Travels of
for this criterion, but as it stands, it is not demonstrated. Marco Polo, The Travels of Friar Odoric, Ibn Battuta’s
Rihla, Records of Foreign Countries, and A Synoptical
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been Account of the Islands and Their Barbarians.
demonstrated.
In the additional information provided, the State Party
notes that Marco Polo is named in the justification for
Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional
criterion (vi) of Venice and its Lagoon (Italy). On this basis,
testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilisation which is
the State Party has asserted that this criterion can be
living or which has disappeared;
justified due to the associations of Quanzhou with Marco
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds Polo, Zheng He, and others.
that Quanzhou (Zayton) became a prosperous port of
inter-cultural exchange and trade in the period from the ICOMOS considers that the multicultural character of this
10th-14th centuries, part of the ‘Great Maritime Routes’ period of Quanzhou’s history is potentially demonstrated
(also referred to as the ‘maritime silk routes’). The sixteen by the nominated components associated with various
nominated components demonstrate the prosperity and religions. While this is a notable aspect of Quanzhou’s
inter-cultural encounters, based on the maritime routes history and development, there is insufficient comparative
and port functions of the city. In additional information, the evidence to establish that this is outstanding within its
State Party argues that the components demonstrate a geo-cultural context.
fusion of diverse cultures, pointing to the different
religions represented by the nominated components. ICOMOS further considers that while Quanzhou is
mentioned in various literary texts in relation to its
ICOMOS considers that this criterion is potentially maritime trading history, the associations drawn by the
appropriate for a port city or cultural route associated with State Party to the voyages of Zheng He are not supported.
the maritime trading networks of the 10th to 14th centuries, There is no correlation between the period of Quanzhou’s
but that it is not demonstrated at this stage due to the peak (10th-14th centuries) and the later voyages of Zheng
inability of the selected components to sufficiently convey He. ICOMOS also notes that there are contested
the proposed Outstanding Universal Value. ICOMOS also interpretations about the regional historical impacts of
considers that there is insufficient evidence presented Zheng He’s voyages because they involved military
about the ‘fusion’ of different cultures during this period. campaigns and battles in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.
ICOMOS therefore considers the linking of this later
The State Party also suggests that the nominated period of history, and the voyages of Zheng He in this
property is demonstrative of the outstanding significance nomination to be controversial; and that neither the
of the Min-nan Culture, which is a mixture of the associations with Zheng He or Marco Polo are directly
agricultural civilisation of China’s Central Plain and the relevant to this serial nomination.
maritime civilisation, featured by its strong openness and
inclusiveness. Min-nan Culture developed around China’s In the additional information received in February 2018,
southeast coastal area, and Quanzhou is considered to the State Party added new strands to its justification of

74
this criterion. The first is that the use and working of stone Wooden structures are monitored for termites. The
in the components is evidence of traditions that resulted Quanzhou Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage
in rare masterpieces of craftsmanship. The second makes has designed monitoring systems to address the
reference to the sea-river-inland connectivity that identified pressures, including disaster prevention and
underpinned Quanzhou’s prominence and prosperity. early warning systems. The State Party has provided
ICOMOS considers that these arguments are both under- additional information about the removal of modern but
developed, and are not supported with sufficient poor quality constructions within the boundaries of some
evidence. Each of these requires thorough further nominated components in order to improve their setting.
attention to their comparative context.
Quanzhou has experienced increasing visitor numbers. In
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been 2014, the number of visitors was 44.283 million. The State
demonstrated. Party has clarified that tourism is currently oriented around
other destinations in the Quanzhou area, and that visitor
levels to the nominated components is not high.
ICOMOS considers that the selection of the components
Nevertheless, some properties are considered to
of the nominated serial property has not been justified,
experience visitor pressure.
that it does not meet the requirements of integrity and
authenticity, and does not meet any of the cultural criteria
The Quanzhou Municipal Administration of Cultural
for inclusion in the World Heritage List. Furthermore,
Heritage and the Quanzhou Tourism Bureau have carried
ICOMOS considers that the strategy of nominating
out research to determine the tourism carrying capacity of
sixteen sites in three different categories has made it
the nominated components, and have established
difficult to effectively apply three criteria across the
monitoring indicators. These are described in the
entirety of the property.
Conservation and Management Plan.

ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property


4 Factors affecting the property vary due the diversity of the nominated components and
their urban, suburban and scenic area settings. In
The State Party considers that the major threats to the general, the most significant pressures are those
nominated components are development pressures, associated with urban development; and, future tourism is
tourism pressures, environmental issues and natural likely to increase the pressures on some of the nominated
disasters. components.

Development pressures are associated with rapid social


and economic transformations since the 1980s, and
5 Protection, conservation and
population increases. A number of components are
located within the central urban area and are affected by management
urban development. Luoyang Bridge, the Islamic Tombs,
Estuary Docks and Zhenwu Temple are located within the Boundaries of the nominated property
suburban areas affected by nearby construction activities. and buffer zone
The Kiln Sites are located in an outer suburb, with nearby Due to the diverse nature of the components, and their
workshops; and the Stone Statue of Lao Tze and Jiuri varied settings, the boundaries of each of the nominated
Mountain Wind-Praying Carvings are located within a property components are based on different needs, but
relatively undeveloped scenic area. Development most are conventionally delineated and align with the
pressures are managed by the Conservation and systems of legal protection at the Provincial and local levels
Management plans and regulations of the Quanzhou of government. At this stage, ICOMOS has not identified
Municipal Government. any specific issues, although the relationship between the
boundaries and the proposed Outstanding Universal Value
There are no inhabitants in any of the nominated could be more explicitly provided.
components, however, there are inhabitants living within
some of the construction control belts in the buffer zones. Each nominated component is surrounded by a buffer
zone. The boundaries for the buffer zones are based on the
Environmental impacts from factories located near the immediate urban context in some cases, and include the
Kaiyuan Temple and Tianhou Temple have been larger visual setting in others. The State Party has identified
removed. Recorded earthquakes have been relatively up to four categories of buffer zone for some of the
minor, and the most significant natural disasters in this components (eg. Estuary Docks, Zhenwu Temple,
region are typhoons and rain storms. The Shihu Dock and Luoyang Bridge); while the others have one, two or three
the Estuary Docks are potentially vulnerable to climate categories of buffer zone. The Category 1 Buffer Zones are
change impacts. The nominated components are given generally applied to the areas nearest to the nominated
some protection by recently constructed levees, and flood protected area. Different rules are applied to each category.
control measures are implemented by the Quanzhou ICOMOS finds that the rationale for this complex set of
Municipal Government, as well as fire control to wooden arrangements is unclear, and has concerns about the
structures, and lightning protection for the pagodas.

75
practicability and coordination that would be involved in Conservation
implementing this scheme. Conservation principles – and the definitions of repair and
restoration – are established by the national law for cultural
Associated with the buffer zone protection, the State Party heritage as well as relevant international texts, the Beijing
has established ‘construction control zones’ for each of the Document (2007) and the ‘Principles for the Conservation
nominated components. This relates to the frameworks of of Heritage Sites in China’ (2015).
legal protection; and much of the State Party’s description
of various potential pressures, and the number of The State Party has provided details of the state of
inhabitants focuses on these areas. conservation of each component of the nominated property
according to the elements, lay-out and setting. The
The nominated components and their buffer zones are nominated property components have been extensively
protected through the provisions of the national Law on documented and inventoried for the purposes of assessing
the Protection of Cultural Relics, and associated their state of conservation and ongoing monitoring.
Provincial and local laws, and the Management Plan.
The State Party provided additional information about the
ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the nominated surveys for underwater cultural heritage. Some
property are adequate, but that they could be better shipwrecks have been salvaged, and the materials
described in relation to their ability to enclose and protect incorporated into museums. The Director of the Institute
the proposed Outstanding Universal Value of the serial of Underwater Archaeology has indicated that there is an
property. The system of establishing various categories intention to undertake an underwater cultural heritage
within the buffer zones is complex, and ICOMOS has survey in Quanzhou in 2018.
concerns about their implementation and coordination.
ICOMOS notes that some components are vulnerable The State Party has provided a list of relevant scientific
due to urban development and port improvements. research, and acknowledges the need to improve the
focus of scientific programs, as well as the coordination of
data collection and cooperation between different
Ownership
agencies.
The land within each nominated component is owned by
the state. The land management authority is the
For several components, ICOMOS considers that the
Quanzhou Bureau for Land and Resources.
context and state of conservation need to be updated,
including: the recent restoration works to the Shihu Dock
Protection
and Luoyang Bridge; the construction of a new highway
The 16 nominated components are protected at the
near the buffer zone for the Kiln sites which has had an
national level through the Law of the People’s Republic of
impact on the setting; and, the current setting of the
China on Protection of Cultural Relics, Administrative
remains of the Wenxing dock structure (Estuary Docks)
Measures for the Protection of World Cultural Heritages,
which has changed considerably since the pictures
Administrative Measures for Monitoring and Inspection of
provided. The specific conservation histories are not
Chinese World Cultural Heritages and the conservation
explained in sufficient detail for a number of components,
plans established for the nominated components. At the
including: Tianhou Temple, Confucius Temple, and the
Provincial level, the Fujian Provincial Cultural Heritage
Kaiyuan Temple.
Protection and Management Regulations and the
Measures on Protection and Management of the Historic
As noted above, most of the components have been
Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton) of
subject to processes of restoration and reconstruction,
Fujian Province provide day-to-day protection and
sometimes over several phases in the past three
management of the components.
centuries or more. At some sites, historical processes of
restoration are recorded on steles. While variable across
Three components are additionally designated as
the series, ICOMOS considers that the modern
National Scenic and Historic Areas, protected by national
conservation work is of a high standard. ICOMOS
and Province Regulations (Stone Statue of Lao Tze, Jiuri
considers that continuing work is needed to deepen the
Mountain Wind-Praying Carvings and Islamic Tombs);
documentation of intangible aspects of the nominated
twelve components are located in the historical downtown
components.
conservation areas, protected by the Regulations on the
Conservation of Historic and Cultural Cities, Towns and
Villages (2008). While there are some site-specific issues requiring better
documentation, ICOMOS considers that the nominated
components exhibit a good/adequate state of
ICOMOS considers that the legal protection in place is
conservation.
adequate.

76
Management The Management Plan outlines the arrangements for
funding the implementation of the measures. Funds
Management structures and processes, provided by all levels of government are allocated on the
including traditional management processes basis of the approved conservation and maintenance
plans. The administrative arrangements are overseen by
The nominated components are managed through a
the People’s Government of Quanzhou. The State Party
number of government and community structures that
advises that there are currently 374 employees involved
operate at the national, provincial and local levels.
in the administration, protection and daily management of
Provincial governments have the administrative
these sites, including professional staff. The Management
responsibility for the development of conservation and
Plan outlines specific arrangements for capacity building
management plans for State Priority Protected Sites in
and training.
China. These have been prepared for the Kaiyuan Temple
and Confucian Temple but are still under preparation for the
In addition, there are several plans established by the
remaining components. The ‘General Plan for Qingyuan
Government of Quanzhou and/or the Fujian Province that
Hill National Scenic Historic Area’ applies to a larger area
are relevant to the nominated property and the control of
than the nominated components of the Stone Statue of Lao
developments in the buffer zones: Master Plan of
Tze, the Jiuri Mountain Wind-Praying Carvings, and the
Quanzhou (1995-2020); Land Use Plan of Quanzhou
Islamic tombs.
(2006-2020); and Master Plan of Tourism of Quanzhou
(1997-2020). There are also plans for several historic
The structures for management vary, although the
districts in Quanzhou.
Quanzhou Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage
is responsible for their conservation and long-term
As noted above, tourism levels to Quanzhou are relatively
management; and most are managed and monitored by
high (more than 44 million visitors per year), but this figure
the relevant City/district administration and their
applies to the whole city and visitor levels at the
enforcement squads. Several sites are associated with
nominated components are lower: in 2016, the total
museums, and some other specific arrangements include:
number of visitors to all 16 nominated components was
• Zhenwu Temple is managed by the Zhenwu Temple
10,414,600. The State Party considers that there are
Cultural Relics Management Committee;
currently no adverse impacts of tourism at any of the
• The Statue of Lao Tze is managed by the Quanzhou nominated components but acknowledges that visitor
Qingyuan Hills Scenic Area Administrative numbers could put pressure on the environment and
Committee; heritage values of the sites and surroundings in the future.
• Kaiyuan Temple and the Qingjing Mosque are
managed by the Quanzou Municipal Bureau of The State Party has calculated the tourism carrying
Ethnic and Religious Affairs; capacity for each component. According to the legal
• The Jiuri Mountain Wind-Praying Carvings are framework, the Quanzhou Municipal Government is
maintained by the Jiuri Mountain Rock Carving responsible for implementing the principles and
Conservation Institute; guidelines for cultural heritage management, including
• The Statue of Mani in the Cao’an Temple is managed tourist activities. If visitor pressures increase in the future,
and maintained by the Cultural Relics Management there are plans to introduce ‘real-time restrictions’ on
Bureau of Coa’an Temple. visitor levels. This is dependent on the monitoring
systems in place for each component.
The coordination of the management across these
different arrangements is provided by the Quanzhou A tourism service and presentation system has been
Maritime Silk Roads Office and the Quanzhou Municipal developed for the nominated property, and priorities for
Bureau of Cultural Heritage. The Conservation and improvement have been identified in the Management
Management Plan identifies the establishment of a Plan. This involves the establishment of visitor centres,
platform for coordination as a future requirement. museums and exhibition halls, interpretation, and the use
of video, internet and virtual technologies. Where
Policy framework: management plans and exhibition halls are not provided, open-air interpretation
arrangements, including visitor management signage is in place. The Kiln Sites component features a
and presentation porcelain-making studio for demonstrating porcelain
The ‘Conservation and Management Plan for the Historic making skills to residents, students and visitors. In
Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton) general, the State Party has identified the need for
2016-2030’ was officially approved and issued by the presentation to focus more specifically on the heritage of
Fujian Province on 22 January 2016. This is a legal the maritime silk routes.
document that gives effect to the management
framework. It provides some overarching goals and
principles and identifies measures for each nominated
component. There are also principles and measures for
conservation, research, coordination of stakeholders,
interpretation and tourism, and monitoring.

77
Involvement of the local communities Quanzhou Maritime Silk Routes Office responsible for
day-to-day coordination.
Villages, urban areas and other settlements are found in
the buffer zones of some of the nominated components.
The State Party has provided additional information ICOMOS considers that the monitoring system is
regarding the consultations undertaken with residents and appropriate for the nominated serial property.
villagers about the implications of heritage designations
and World Heritage nomination, including the regulations
concerning height controls and other restrictions on new 7 Conclusions
constructions.
The State Party believes that the serial nomination
The stakeholders identified by the State Party are diverse, provides a full picture and typical representation of
including various government agencies, religious various site types of the cultural heritage associated with
communities and local residents. These have different the important historical period for the City of Quanzhou
levels of knowledge about the significance and (10th to 14th centuries) when it functioned as a prosperous
conservation needs of the significance of the selected international hub of maritime trade. The case made by the
components. State Party for the World Heritage listing of this serial
property centres around the idea of maritime trade routes
ICOMOS is unaware of any significant issues for that are similar in scope and significance to the overland
community involvement, although the management Silk Routes.
system could be further strengthened to address the
needs and interests of the identified stakeholders. In support of this nomination, the State Party has referred
to a UNESCO study on this subject from the 1990s but
ICOMOS considers that the management system for the has not incorporated the much more substantial and
serial property is appropriate. The coordination of recent thematic frameworks prepared for the overland silk
management is important for the nominated property routes; or the newly initiated transnational dialogue on
given the number of site-specific management maritime silk routes. The State Party considers that this
arrangements and the number of local governments nomination does not rely on this new thematic work, citing
involved. ICOMOS considers that a stronger engagement several examples of properties that were individually
with maritime and port organisations within the inscribed before the thematic work on the overland silk
management system would be desirable. routes was completed (such as Bukhara in Uzbekistan or
the Mogao Caves in China). However, ICOMOS
considers that these examples point to the need for the
nominated property itself to have sufficient capacity to
6 Monitoring
express its proposed Outstanding Universal Value; and
that this has not been established for the present
A monitoring system is set out in the nomination dossier
nomination.
covering indicators, collection methods, frequency and
responsible institutions. The State Party has usefully
ICOMOS agrees that the histories of Eurasian trade and
established tables for establishing the baseline state of
cultural exchange have privileged the overland, rather
conservation for each of the components. For some
than the maritime connections and legacies. Much of the
indicators, electronic or other automated approaches to the
global history of maritime connectivity has focused on the
collection of some forms of data, but others are the subject
‘age of discovery’ or on periods when maritime trading
of periodic checking by relevant professional and/or
routes were entangled with the globalising effects of
management personnel.
colonisation. There is therefore a potential to shine a light
on what was happening in other geo-cultural regions and
Due to the diverse pressures and contexts of the sixteen
periods, but this is a complex theme and the needed work
components, the State Party has provided detailed
is just beginning.
information about monitoring for specific issues and
pressures. There are various electronic monitoring systems
ICOMOS considers that without further progress on the
in place at a number of the sites, in particular to monitor
international thematic work, there are unresolved
visitor levels. Meteorological monitoring is also included,
questions about the historical significance of Quanzhou
and all significant timber constructions are regularly
and the degree to which the 16 components of this
monitored for termites, water damage and mildew.
nomination can express its importance as a ‘node’ in the
maritime silk routes.
The monitoring system has a three-tier implementation,
with the national State Administration of Cultural Heritage
ICOMOS recalls that the World Heritage category of
responsible for formulating overall approaches, technical
cultural routes was developed and has been applied over
criteria and policies; the Fujian Province Bureau of
large areas in order to demonstrate significant histories of
Cultural Heritage responsible for integrating the
movements of peoples, cultures, ideas and commodities
monitoring in to the management systems, and organising
over large territories. This approach generally involves the
the collection of monitoring data; and the Quanzhou
selection of a series of components which are individually
Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage and

78
unable to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value and adds some new arguments, but these are not supported
are often typical or representative of their time and place. by sufficient analysis and evidence.
ICOMOS considers that this could possibly be a more
effective approach for Quanzhou, but that this would need Because of the work that has just commenced to
to be entirely reconceptualised, researched and joined thematically frame the ‘maritime silk routes’, ICOMOS
with sites elsewhere in China or in other countries. considers that this nomination is currently premature. For
this reason, ICOMOS welcomes the commitment of the
The State Party has stated that it has not nominated State Party to actively contribute to the current
Quanzhou as a cultural route, but as a group of transnational dialogue on this theme.
monuments and sites that demonstrate the history of the
city as an important node of trading networks. According
to the State Party, the components are presented as 8 Recommendations
linked in their ability to express a specific historical period.
ICOMOS does not consider that the potential Outstanding Recommendations with respect to inscription
Universal Value is clear if linked only to its historical ICOMOS recommends that the Historic Monuments and
period, and, as explained above, the components do not Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton), China, should not be
convincingly establish the specific significance of inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Quanzhou within the larger maritime networks.

In its dialogue with ICOMOS, the State Party has also


stated that it has not nominated Quanzhou as a port city.
However, the comparative analysis compares Quanzhou
with other port cities, so the comparative context is not
clear if this framing is removed. There are many port cities
in east and southeast Asia of historic significance, and
many shipwrecks built in many locations. Likewise, Marco
Polo and Ibn Battuta spoke of many places in their
writings.

As a node within a maritime trading network in a specific


historical period, ICOMOS considers that the nomination
has not met the needed requirements for inclusion in the
World Heritage List, due to the varied evidence carried by
the sixteen components. Many of the components are not
individually exceptional within the Chinese context, or
within the relevant geo-cultural setting. There are almost
no components of the urban fabric of the city itself
presented; and little of the port itself remains. The sites of
various religions are of national significance, but do not
sustain the proposed Outstanding Universal Value.

For these reasons, ICOMOS concludes that while the


global comparative analysis demonstrates that there is
room on the World Heritage List for properties that can
represent the histories of maritime trading routes, this
does not justify the consideration for the inscription of the
proposed serial property. ICOMOS has therefore found
that the 16 selected components cannot demonstrate the
proposed Outstanding Universal Value.

Because the particular history of Quanzhou from the


10th to 14th is potentially significant in global and geo-
cultural terms, ICOMOS considers that the State Party
needs to thoroughly review and reconceptualise its
nomination to adequately demonstrate this history. At the
moment, this nomination presents as an interesting story,
but without the needed sites that can tell it. ICOMOS has
concluded that the Outstanding Universal Value of the
nominated serial property is not demonstrated; that none
of the cultural criteria have been demonstrated; and that
the requirements of authenticity and integrity are not met.
The additional information provided in February 2018

79
Map showing the location of the nominated property
Wanshou Pagoda

Kaiyuan Temple
Consultations
ICOMOS consulted its International Scientific Committees
The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble on Shared Built Heritage, on 20th Century Heritage, on
of Mumbai Historic Towns and Villages, and several independent
experts.
(India)
No 1480 Technical Evaluation Mission
A technical evaluation mission from ICOMOS visited the
nominated property from 6 to 11 September 2017.

Additional information received by ICOMOS


Official name as proposed by the State Party A letter was sent from ICOMOS to the State Party on
The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai 1 August 2017 requesting updated information on the
nomination dossier, particularly on issues of protection
Location management and conservation. Also, additional
Mumbai, Maharashtra State information was requested regarding the boundaries of
India the property and the buffer zone, justification for
inscription, the resolution of the submitted maps, and
Brief description questions about management and protection. A
The demolition of the fortifications of Bombay in the 1860s response with additional information was received by
marked the transformation of the city from a fortified ICOMOS from the State Party on 5 September 2017.
outpost into a world class commercial centre and made
available land for development. A group of public An Interim Report was sent to the State Party on
buildings was built in the Victorian Gothic style and the 22 December 2017 and the State Party provided
open green space of the Oval Maidan was created. The ICOMOS with additional information on 13 February
Backbay Reclamation Scheme in the early 20th century 2018. The information submitted has been incorporated
offered a new opportunity for Bombay to expand to the in the relevant sections of this report.
west with Art Deco residential, commercial and
entertainment buildings and the creation of Marine Drive Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
along the sea front. Today the Oval Maidan presents a 14 March 2018
composition of a spectacular ensemble of Victorian
Gothic buildings on its eastern side, and another
spectacular ensemble of Art Deco buildings on its 2 The property
western side, a testimony to the modernization phases
that Mumbai went through during the 19th and
Description
20th centuries leading to a modern independent India in
The nominated property is of 66.34 ha total area and
1947.
buffered by an area of 378.78 ha. It is located in the
south of Mumbai. It is a group of buildings, consisting of
Category of property
94 historic buildings and the open green space of the
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in
Oval Maidan.
Article I of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a
group of buildings.
The buildings of the nominated property represent
modernization endeavors in architectural and urban
planning. An urban ensemble of 19th century Victorian
1 Basic data Gothic buildings and groups of early 20th century Art
Deco buildings flank the open green space of the Oval
Included in the Tentative List Maidan. The Art Deco buildings extend to a row of
22 May 2012 buildings along Marine Drive. The property includes
other buildings to the north of the Oval Maidan and to
International Assistance from the World Heritage the east and south of the Victorian Gothic buildings.
Fund for preparing the Nomination
None The transition from the 19th century Victorian Gothic style
to the 20th century Art Deco is represented by a few
Date received by the World Heritage Centre buildings of the turn-of-the-century Indo Saracenic style
29 January 2014 and the early 20th century Edwardian Neo-classical style.
The four styles represented in the property form an
Background overall narrative of endeavors to modernize Mumbai into
This is a new nomination. a cosmopolitan city and reinforce Mumbai’s position as
“the Gateway to India”.

80
The Oval Maidan and the buildings east, north and south were produced by the Bharat Tile Company (est. 1923).
of it are located within the Fort Precinct. Buildings west Decorative terrazzo features are significant and were
of the Oval Maidan are located within the Marine Drive also produced by the same company.
Precinct.
Lease agreements for construction on the Backbay
The Oval Maidan is an important open space for the city. Reclamation Scheme mandated a clear space of 20 feet
It separates the 19th century Victorian Gothic buildings of around each building, making the distance between
the late 1800s to its east from the Art Deco buildings to every two buildings 40 feet. Most of the buildings were of
its west, which were built on the Backbay Reclamation uniform height and the same number of floors: five or six
Scheme and Marine Drive in the 1930s. At the same storeys. Such heights were facilitated by the use of
time the Oval Maidan offers an opportunity to view both reinforced concrete. They are characterized by large
groups of buildings and enjoy the different phases of the balconies and Art Deco decorative features. They are
modernization of Mumbai. also characterized by harmonious street frontages using
attractive color schemes, curvilinear balconies and
The Victorian architecture and motifs articulated corners. As they were built at different times,
The 19th century buildings are considered to be “Anglo and as both residential and commercial buildings, they
Indian style”, as they are modelled on Gothic forms while express individual charm whilst observing an overall
using Indian materials and craftsmen and were adapted harmony. Not only did this development of Mumbai
to Indian conditions. They are built of igneous basalt, introduce the Art Deco style to the city, it also introduced
which is locally available in the Deccan Plateau, while modern forms of entertainment such as cinemas and
the decorative carvings are made of soft limestone from social clubs.
Porbunder in Gujarat. They include Gothic Revival
features such as turrets, spires, pointed arches, trefoils, The Indo-Saracenic architecture and motifs
quatrefoils, gargoyles and vaulted ceilings. Also This is a hybrid style that blends Western planning and
incorporated in the same buildings are Indian Indian architectural features, mainly Mughal, such as
architectural features, such as sloping terracotta tiled domes, chattris, brackets, jaalis and jharokhas, which
roofs, carved balconies and linear verandas, which were became popular around the turn of the 20th century. This
suited to the Indian climate. The carvings feature Indian style was created with the ambition of it becoming the
men in traditional turbans and costumes. “Pan Indian” style.

The Art Deco architecture and motifs The Classical Revival architecture and motifs
The ambitious Backbay Reclamation Scheme of the Buildings of this style were also referred to as
1920s, which covers 553 acres of reclaimed land, is ‘Edwardian Neo-classical’ or ‘Renaissance Revival’.
where the Art Deco buildings of Mumbai were They incorporated classical facades and motifs, such as
constructed in the 1930s and 1940s. They are among pedimented facades, Corinthian columns, double height
the first Art Deco buildings built in India. Their pilasters and classical motifs above windows.
concentration gave a homogenous character and
cohesion to this part of Mumbai. Their distinguishing Art History and development
Deco features were the result of strict regulations based Mumbai is the name given to the group of seven islands
on a planning vision. by the fishermen who inhabited them. Mumbai derives
from the name of the locally worshiped goddess at the
The Art Deco buildings introduced to Mumbai and India time: Mumba.
new materials and typologies. They were constructed
using reinforced concrete, which allowed for high-rise In the 16th century, the Portuguese converted the islands
constructions, free forms and speed of construction, into a trading outpost. In 1665, the islands came under
resulting in the dense assemblage of private apartments. British rule as part of Catharine de Braganza’s dowry
The introduction of cinemas added a new feature to upon her marriage to Charles II, King of England. The
urban cosmopolitan life, represented in the property by main island was fortified by the British East India
the Regal and the Eros Cinemas. Company, which leased it from the British Crown. After
1686, the East India Company moved its seat of
The Art Deco buildings include a hybrid of Art Deco and governance and the centre for its maritime activities from
Indian motifs which form what can be called “Indo-Deco”. Surat to Bombay. Fortification walls were built to protect
The early Art Deco buildings of Mumbai were built with a the main island from attacks by neighbouring enemies.
combination of traditional materials, such as bricks and
plaster on the one hand, and technologically advanced In 1715, the governor Charles Boone created the
materials such as reinforced concrete on the other. Bombay Fort. In 1772, an expansive area of land around
the walls was cleared to provide a clear field of fire, as a
Local products and materials were incorporated in these precaution because of fear of attack by the French. This
buildings by Indian architects. Decorative features were area, which was known as the Esplanade, extended for
made of plaster and other locally-available materials, 400 yards from the ramparts to the edge of the sea. It
such as wood, marble and tiles. Many of the decorated was extended to 800, then 1000 yards in 1804. The
tiles, which are significant features of these buildings, 1850s and 1860s witnessed the transformation of

81
Bombay from a trading post to a town, thanks to two The Ideal Home Exhibition in 1937 showcased Art Deco
governors: John Lord Elphinstone and Sir Bartle Frere. designs for buildings, interiors and furniture and
encouraged the spread of Art Deco style in India during
The demolition of the fort started in the mid-1850s and the 1930s and 1940s. Independence in 1947 put an end
was completed by the 1860s as the city prospered as a to the place of Art Deco as an expression of Indian
result of the importance of its cotton trade during the aspirations for modernity as Jawaharlal Nehru embraced
American civil war. The work of demolishing the fort and modernism after Independence, which brought an end to
laying down new roads was carried out by the Ramparts the spread of Art Deco architecture in India.
Removal Committee, headed by James Trubshawe. As
the city received an influx of wealth and people, an Today the buildings of the nominated property are still in
ambitious city planning scheme was initiated, whilst land use. The Victorian Neo-Gothic buildings are still public
was available for development, either as a result of buildings. The Art Deco buildings have residential,
pulling down the ramparts or land reclamation. commercial and entertainment uses. Many conservation
initiatives have taken place over the last two decades,
The Esplanade, or the Maidan as it was called, became some by the Public Works Department and others by the
a breathing space for the city as it faced the sea at the community through the ‘Oval Trust’, ‘Kala Ghoda
time. By the late 1860s a master plan was developed for Association’ and other non-governmental organizations.
the land east of the Esplanade, which became available In 1995, the Heritage Regulations for Greater Bombay
for construction after the demolition of the ramparts and were introduced. Accordingly, Mumbai became the first
the lifting of the ban on construction within close Indian city with a legal framework to protect its urban
proximity to the fort. The newly developed area was laid heritage.
out with wide roads and open spaces. The Oval Maidan
was preserved as an open space, and the ‘Vihar Water
Works’ was established to provide the area with a water 3 Justification for inscription, integrity and
supply. authenticity
Bombay was emerging as a modern cosmopolitan city, Comparative analysis
helped by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the The comparative analysis is conducted by the State
establishment of the Municipal Corporation in 1872 and Party at international and national levels with urban
the Bombay Port Trust in 1873. The efficient civic ensembles of 19th and 20th century colonial cities
infrastructure asserted Bombay’s place as the main inscribed on the World Heritage List and others that are
Indian seaport and the commercial and industrial capital not inscribed.
of western India.
Internationally, comparisons are made with Liverpool –
In the 1870s, the Victorian Neo-Gothic buildings were Maritime Mercantile City, United Kingdom (2004, (ii), (iii),
constructed along the eastern edge of the Oval Maidan, (iv)); Historic Centre of Macao, China (2005, (ii), (iii), (iv),
symbolizing the second city of the British Empire. Land (vi)); Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the
reclamation started in the 1860s, with most notably the Strait of Malacca, Malaysia (2008, (ii), (iii), (iv)); The
land for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway terminus White City of Tel-Aviv – the Modern Movement, Israel
completed in 1871. Other reclamation took place in (2003, (ii), (iv)); and Levuka Historical Port Town, Fiji
different areas including the Backbay, which was set (2013, (ii), (iv)).
back by the slowing of the economy as a result of the
end of the American civil war, and thus the end of the Comparisons are also made with the following cities that
Bombay cotton boom. The Backbay Reclamation are not inscribed on the World Heritage List: Melbourne,
Scheme (1928-1942) incorporated all the failed or Australia; City of Durban, South Africa; Shanghai Bund,
unfinished reclamation projects since the 1860s and Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; and Central Park,
completed 552 acres of land by the end of 1929. Three New York, United States of America (included in 2017
different plans were made for the government to develop on the Tentative List).
on the reclaimed land housing, schools, hospitals and
other facilities for the growing Indian middle class. None The nomination dossier mentions briefly 18 colonial
of them was implemented. In the early 1930s, the block settlements, towns or urban centres, some of which are
facing the Oval Maidan and Churchgate was constructed inscribed on the World Heritage List or on the Tentative
in the Art Deco style, to become the first Art Deco Lists, such as Delhi, A Heritage City, on the Indian
buildings in India. They were extended in the 1940s to Tentative List (2012, (ii), (v), (vi)), and the inscribed
Marine Drive and made up the densest concentration of property of The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an
Art Deco buildings in Mumbai. These developments Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement with
reflected major socio-economic changes in India during the inclusion of Chandigarh (2016, (i), (ii), (vi)), as well
the 1920s and 1930s, including the rise of Western- as others not listed, such as Kolkata (Calcutta), and
educated Indian architects, the new concept of living in Chennai (Madras).
apartments and commuting to work, and the growth of
the middle class.

82
Comparisons are also made with Victorian ensembles, Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
which are not inscribed on the World Heritage List. The nominated property is considered by the State Party
Mumbai is compared with Glasgow and Bristol, United to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural
Kingdom, and Ottawa, Canada. property for the following reasons:

Art Deco and early 20th century cities and groups of • Individual clusters of Victorian or Art Deco buildings
buildings are also compared, including Napier Art Deco may survive across the world, but the Mumbai
Historic Precinct, New Zealand, on the Tentative List ensemble is collectively unparalleled, with the
(2007, (ii), (iv), (vi)), and Asmara a Modernist City of dramatic confrontation of the two styles across the
Africa, Eritrea, inscribed on the World Heritage List Oval Maidan;
(2017, (ii), (iv)), plus Miami Beach Architectural District, • The Victorian buildings are amongst the finest and
Florida, USA, and Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. most cohesive group of 19th century Victorian Gothic
buildings in the world;
The comparative analysis concludes that no other city • The Victorian assemblage was amongst the earliest
reflects better than Mumbai the urban re-engineering of examples of public private partnerships in colonial
a colonial city during the 19th and 20th centuries, and that India, as the urban scheme for public buildings was
Mumbai fills an important gap in the list of colonial cities funded by philanthropists belonging to different
and economic centres on the World Heritage List. communities and faiths;
• The Art Deco buildings are one of the largest and
ICOMOS notes that the geo-cultural comparators are most homogenous assemblages of Art Deco
from specific areas of the world subject to 19th and early buildings in Asia and the world;
20th century colonial settlement by European imperial • The 1920s land reclamation set the stage for Art
powers, where the climate required adaptation of Deco in India, with the modern construction
European architectural principles to suit a different technology of reinforced concrete and Art Deco
climatic zone and (in part) a local aesthetic language. features in contrast to the carved stone of the
Such parameters focus interest on central Asia, South Victorian buildings across the Oval Maidan, creating
East Asia and potentially parts of South America and the spectacular coastal promenade, Marine Drive –
Africa. In particular, the architectural responses in the Queen’s Necklace;
Mumbai reflect a mix of British imperial and Indian • The nominated property created a formidable
design language, adapted to suit a tropical climate. architectural dialectic that influenced the narrative of
modernism in Asia, with a distinct architectural
Other Asian cities have a number of fine High Victorian genre, Western in form and Indian in spirit as an
Gothic and Art Deco buildings, though these are often example of shared heritage; and
individual buildings or smaller ensembles, such as • The urban ensemble, which embodies international
Singapore, Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia, with their modernist trends of the 19th and 20th centuries,
tropical art deco style buildings. However, no city is remains intact up to the present, as its buildings
characterized by this architectural style to the same continue to be used.
degree as Mumbai which champions High Victorian
Gothic architecture and also integrates this style with ICOMOS considers that the justification provided by the
Indian design themes and artistic works. State Party includes valid arguments. However,
ICOMOS is of the view that the overall narrative and
Also, examples of architecture on a grand Neo-Gothic rationale of the nomination is lacking coherence and in
scale such as the parliamentary buildings in Ottawa or need of reformulating despite the additional information
the library and environs in Melbourne are appropriately submitted on 5 September 2017.
identified as are the centres of Delhi, Liverpool, Durban
and Macau. Whilst the nomination of Georgetown in ICOMOS considers the additional information submitted
Malaysia relates more to its repetitive shop-houses, the by the State Party on 13 February 2018 offers a
questions relating to the valorisation of mixed colonial convincing rationale by emphasizing the territorial aspect
legacies are also relevant. of the nominated property, each with its distinctive
architectural style: “Together these two developments
Based upon the comparative analysis by the State Party, represent the developments in urban planning that led to
Mumbai remains the most intact, authentic mid-19th to the expansion of a city along its western seaface, first
mid-20th century assemblage of buildings reflecting through the demolition of its fort walls and creation of a
imperial rule and commerce, adapted in detail and Victorian enclave by filling the moat and then through
design to suit the local tropical climate and culture. land reclamation from the sea to create an Art Deco
development. Together, this urban ensemble creates a
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis has distinct entity – of an urban response to the growth of a
justified consideration of this property for the World trading colonial city by the sea – wholly unique in its
Heritage List. dramatic juxtaposition of the two distinct architectural
groupings facing each other across the historic maidan.”

83
ICOMOS considers that the proposed Outstanding ICOMOS notes that even if individual buildings may
Universal Value is better expressed by focusing the have experienced modifications, their living nature, form
justification to emphasize the territorial aspect of the and design are still authentic in general; in particular, the
nominated property as an ensemble created by two use and function of each building remains almost
waves of urban expansion that are manifested by two unchanged in both the Victorian district and the Art Deco
distinctive architectural styles, namely Victorian Neo district. However, there are no actual written records
Gothic and Art Deco styles and by renaming the property available in terms of the history of additions and/or
accordingly. This would justify the grouping of the two modifications of each building.
developments built in two different styles, while
excluding excellent examples from these two styles ICOMOS considers that the conditions of authenticity
which are located outside the boundaries of these two have been met.
developments as well as the exclusion of other buildings
of other styles that are important in the narrative of the
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the conditions of
historic development of Mumbai.
integrity and authenticity have been met, but the wider
settings of the property are vulnerable to urban pressure
Integrity and authenticity
developments.
Integrity
Criteria under which inscription is proposed
The State Party holds that the assemblage of Victorian The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria
Neo Gothic and Art Deco buildings retains a high degree (ii) and (iv).
of integrity in visual, spatial and planning terms, with the
Rajabai Clock tower as the visual high point and the Oval Criterion (ii): exhibit an important interchange of human
Maidan, which is a unifying element and a centrepiece to values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of
view both the Victorian and the Art Deco groups of the world, on developments in architecture or
buildings. Moreover, it is argued that it retains its integrity technology, monumental arts, town-planning or
as a planned urban development in an Asian colonial city. landscape design;

ICOMOS notes that a considerable number of significant This criterion is justified by the State Party on the
buildings of both Victorian Gothic and Art Deco styles grounds that both Victorian Neo Gothic and Art Deco
are located within the buffer zone and not within the buildings of Mumbai are examples of shared heritage as
nominated property. they express a distinct architectural phenomenon that is
Western in form and Indian in spirit, which contributed to
ICOMOS considers that by emphasizing the territorial the cosmopolitan culture of Mumbai as intended by their
aspect of the proposed Outstanding Universal Value of city planners and builders. They remain today in their
the property as expressed in the additional information original functions as a manifestation of the uninterrupted
submitted on 13th February 2018 and as explained vitality of the urban scape. They were built with modern
above, the nominated property includes the entirety of materials, techniques and structural systems in two
the two waves of urban expansion and the majority of architectural styles in two consecutive periods that were
buildings that were built within the two expansions in central to the development of modern architectural
Victorian Neo Gothic style and Art Deco style. forms.

ICOMOS notes that the visual integrity of the nominated The Victorian assemblage of grand public buildings
property may be compromised by the speed of urban created an Indo-Gothic style by blending Gothic Revival
growth in Mumbai resulting in high-rise buildings in the elements with Indian elements, with adaptations in
proximity of the nominated property, especially where response to the local climate by introducing balconies
the buffer zone is particularly tight. and verandas.

The turn-of-the-century buildings created a transitional


ICOMOS considers that the conditions of integrity have
phase by blending European planning with Mughal and
been met, but careful monitoring of urban growth in the
Indo-Islamic features, creating a fusion that became
vicinity of the property should be ensured.
known as Indo Saracenic style.

Authenticity
Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings of iconic cinema halls and
The State Party holds that the assemblage of Victorian apartment buildings blended Indian design with Art Deco
and Art Deco buildings meets the conditions of imagery and created a unique style that became known
authenticity in terms of architectural form, decorative as Indo-Deco. Its influence spread through the Indian
motifs, design, scale and material, and that they also sub-continent until the adoption of architectural
retain their original use. The Oval Maidan retains its modernism by Jawaharlal Nehru for the then newly
authenticity as an urban open space and Marine Drive independent India.
retains its setting as a sea-facing Art Deco development.

84
ICOMOS considers that both the Victorian Gothic and commercial activities of the city of Mumbai and the
the Art Deco ensembles exhibit an important exchange closeness of the nominated property to the business
of European and Indian human values over a span of district.
time. The additional information submitted by the State
Party on 13 February 2018 clarified the connection that According to the additional information received from the
ties these two ensembles, styles and types of buildings State Party on 13 February 2018 in response to ICOMOS’
as they are both parts of the two major urban Interim Report, both the property and the buffer zone
expansions of the city at the end of 19th century and enjoy two layers of protection. Firstly, the blanket
beginning of 20th century. protection of the two notified Heritage Precincts; the Fort
Precinct and the Marine Drive Precinct. Secondly, the
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified. 100-meter protection zone of Grade I buildings along the
Oval Maidan side of the Property adds another layer of
protection.
Criterion (iv): be an outstanding example of a type of
building, architectural or technological ensemble or
Environmental pressures are a combination of salt-laden
landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in
sea breezes and urban air pollution. This threatens
human history;
particularly the decorative features, which are carved from
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the limestone, on the facades of both Victorian and Art Deco
grounds that the Victorian and Art Deco ensembles buildings.
reflect the developments in urban planning over two
centuries, with the shift from fortified colonial town to a Disasters that may affect the property are defined by the
cosmopolitan city in the map of global commerce. nomination dossier as heavy rainfall and flooding,
earthquakes, cyclonic winds, and fire.
ICOMOS acknowledges the significance of each of the
two styles and ensembles of buildings and the quality of Torrential rainfall affects the infrastructure and may lead to
their contrast facing each other across the Oval Maidan. flooding in a few areas of the buffer zone. In addition,
Mumbai is located in an area of moderate risk of
The two ensembles represent architectural styles, earthquakes, according to the Geological Survey of India.
phases in the advancements of construction materials Also, the threat from cyclonic winds may affect in a limited
and techniques, urban planning philosophies and way the outskirts of the buffer zone.
historical phases which are distinctive, facing each other
across the Oval Maidan. They stand witness to the The risk of fire is critical for timber-framed buildings in
development of Mumbai from a small coastal fort to the wards A, B and C, with narrow irregular alleyways in the
preeminent colonial city of the British Empire, a global Fort Area with little or no access for fire engines.
financial capital and the ‘Gateway to India’ in East Asia.
ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property
The additional information submitted by the State Party are development pressures and environmental
on 13 February 2018 clarified the connection that ties pressures, particularly torrential rain and to a lesser
these two ensembles, styles and types of buildings as extent the threat of earthquakes. The property is also
they are both parts of the two major urban expansions of threatened by the risk of fire.
Bombay that led to the development of the city to
become the internationally important mercantile city of
the twentieth century and up to the present.
5 Protection, conservation and
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified.
management

Boundaries of the nominated property


In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the nominated and buffer zone
property meets the criteria (ii) and (iv) and the conditions The total area of the nominated property is 66.34 ha. The
of integrity and authenticity. total area of the buffer zone is 378.78 ha and is defined by
the two Heritage Precincts: the Fort Precinct and the
Marine Drive Precinct.
4 Factors affecting the property
The eastern border of the Fort Precinct is the sea and its
Development pressure in and around the nominated western border is the Esplanade. The delineation of the
property is unprecedented, according to the nomination Fort Precinct follows the traces of the original extent of the
dossier. Despite the protection offered by the 1995 historic Fort, which was demolished in the 1860s. On the
Development Control Regulation for Greater Bombay no. east, the borders follow the historic Naval Docklands and
67 (DCR 67), the redevelopment byelaws DCR 33 (7) and the business district. Its northern boundaries include the
(9) allow for reconstruction and redevelopment of ‘cessed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)
buildings’. The pressure for façade alterations and and the Crawford Market (Mahatma Jyotirao Phule
changes to ground floor level is very high because of the Market).

85
The Marine Drive Precinct is bordered on the south by regulation, buildings of the nominated property are listed
Madame Cama Road. Marine Drive and the western as Grade I, IIA, IIB or III.
seaboard of the Arabian Sea form the western boundary
for the precinct. The eastern boundary is bordered by the According to the modification of 25th January 2009 the
Esplanade and extends along the original railway lines two precincts of the Fort Precinct and the Marine Drive
(Mumbai Suburban Western Railway). The northern Precinct are protected as heritage precincts. Most of the
boundary is the Malabar Hill. area of both the nominated property and the buffer zone
falls within these two heritage precincts.
The Fort Precinct functions as the buffer zone for the
nominated property and for another World Heritage Site, ICOMOS acknowledges the additional information
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus). submitted by the State Party on 5 September 2017,
stating that the Marine Drive Precinct was notified as a
ICOMOS notes that the eastern boundary of the buffer heritage precinct by resolution no. TPB4315/28/CR-
zone along Marine Drive cuts through the middle of a 12/2015/UD-11, dated 15 May 2015.
circular-shaped road network that is an integral part of a
single urban plan, and that the southwestern corner of All repairs and developments must be screened by the
Marine Drive has no buffer zone, which means the Heritage Conservation Committee, including all proposed
nominated property just faces an area of high-rise changes of cessed buildings.
buildings.
Further layers of protection are offered by policies under
ICOMOS notes a strip of buildings that is included in the several Acts.
buffer zone but lies between the two heritage precincts
and is thus not protected. As modern developments of the 19th and early
20th centuries, no traditional protection mechanisms exist
The additional information submitted by the State Party for the buildings of the nominated property or the buffer
on 13th February 2018 explained the rationale for the zone. Nevertheless, institutions of the civil society, such
delineation of the boundaries as they follow the as the ‘Marine Drive Residents’ Association’ and the
boundary of the Marine Drive Precinct and that the ‘Oval Trust’, act as watchdogs for the protection of the
Vidhan Sabha buildings and high-rises of Nariman Point built environment.
were a much later development and built before
notification of Marine Drive Precinct as a heritage The effectiveness of protection measures is supported
precinct. by Government Notice No. TPS-1812/3067/CR-42/UD-
13, dated 30 April 2015 (Heritage TDR), which implies
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of that floor area can be transferred to other areas, outside
the nominated property and of its buffer zone are the heritage precincts, in order to keep the floor area
adequate. ratio of the heritage precinct at 1.33 net, in effect
detouring the development to outside the heritage
precincts. Five cases have benefited from the Heritage
Ownership
TDR to date, totalling 2091.74 square meters.
The ownership of the buildings of the nominated
property follows different patterns: either public, private
ICOMOS considers that the nomination dossier is
or mixed. The function of the building is often dictated by
missing the detailed explanation and record of the
whether it is privately or publicly owned.
mechanism and effectiveness of implementation of
DCR67 and to what extent are they effective for the
Most of the Victorian buildings are public buildings,
buildings that are not listed (Grades I, IIA, IIB & III), both
owned by the Central Government or the State
in the nominated property and the buffer zone.
Government of Maharashtra, or by the Municipal
Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Banks and corporate
In response to the Interim Report, the State Party
buildings are owned by Corporatations and Banking
presented a list of eight cases that were reviewed by the
Corporations. Other buildings are owned by trusts or
Heritage Conservation Committee and indications of the
private companies. The Art Deco apartment blocks are
different decisions and recommendations of the
owned by private owners or society ownership. The land
Committee. However, these examples remain
is leased from the Collector of Mumbai for 99 years,
indications that are not detailed or backed by
starting from 1940. After the lease period is up a revision
documentation of the relevant buildings, the proposals
will be required from the government. Private buildings
and the implemented interventions.
ownership is guided by the Bombay Rents, Hotels and
Lodging House Rates Control Act of 1947.
ICOMOS notes that the nomination dossier doesn’t
clarify the impact of the CESS Act on the cessed
Protection
buildings within the property and how the protection of
The legal protection of the property and buffer zone is
these buildings differs from the rest of the buildings
based on the statute of the Government of Maharashtra,
within the nominated property and its buffer zone.
most importantly by the Heritage Regulations for Greater
Bombay 1995, Regulation No. 67 (DCR 67). Under this

86
In response to the Interim Report, the State Party ICOMOS acknowledges the inventory and urban-level
clarified that “all proposals for alterations or documentation of the buildings within the property.
modifications of CESS buildings shall be presented to However, it is the view of ICOMOS that it is necessary to
the Heritage Conservation Committee.” include architectural-level documentation and detailed
records of the conservation state and history of each
ICOMOS further notes that all the above protection building.
measures do not cover the strip of buildings in the buffer
zone that lies between the two precincts. In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that conservation
measures in place are adequate. ICOMOS recommends
In response to the Interim Report the State Party clarified that the inventory be complemented to include
that the property and the buffer zone are under the architectural-level documentation and detailed records of
protective blanket of DCR 67 and that any permission for the conservation state and history of each building.
repair or development will be screened under the
jurisdiction of the Heritage Conservation Committee.
Management

In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the legal Management structures and processes,
protection in place is adequate. ICOMOS recommends including traditional management processes
that the actions of the Heritage Conservation Committee
should be backed by documentation of the relevant The nomination dossier mentions that the nominated
buildings, the proposals and the implemented property will be managed through the existing
interventions. mechanism based on Section 52 of the Greater Mumbai
Development Plan by the Heritage Conservation
Committee, which was created by DCR 67. The Site
Conservation
Management Plan identifies nine objectives and
Structures within the nominated property are inventoried
presents an action plan consisting of 13 actions, with an
and documented on an urban scale, including for
indication of the stakeholders or agencies involved for
example location maps, classification, photographs and
each action, and whether it is an ongoing, short-,
comments on use, significance and topography. This
medium- or long-term action.
inventory was created in 2013.

ICOMOS notes that the site management plan that is


Most buildings of the nominated property are in a fair or
presented with the nomination dossier does not include
good state of conservation, with two exceptions. The first
an organizational chart or an explanation of clear tools
is the former Watson’s Hotel, which is known at present
for implementation.
as Esplanade Mansions. It is listed as a grade IIA
building and is in need of urgent conservation
Policy framework: management plans and
intervention. The other building is the Art Deco Eros
arrangements, including visitor management
Cinema, which is in a fair state of conservation but does
and presentation
not function as a cinema anymore for financial reasons.
ICOMOS appreciates the strong commitment on the part
A number of buildings within the nominated property of local community groups. However, the actual work of
have been restored, including the Bombay High Court, the Heritage Conservation Committee is not detailed,
Mumbai University Library and Rajabai Clock Tower and despite the fact that it has been actively functioning for
Convocation Hall. Restoration works are ongoing for the many years.
Public Works Department Building.
ICOMOS notes that apart from the members of the
Documentation of conservation works for the Art Deco Heritage Conservation Committee, whose role is
buildings could be improved. advisory, the nomination dossier does not clarify the
staffing levels, expertise or training for the personnel
Some Art Deco buildings within the property are who actually carry out the work and the implementation
impacted by alterations made by users, such as of the Committee’s decisions.
enclosure of balconies and the addition of a floor or two.
ICOMOS notes that the additional information submitted
The Heritage Conservation Committee, which was by the State Party on 13 February 2018 in response to
created by DCR 67, is instrumental in active the Interim Report names the members of the Heritage
conservation measures. The Current Greater Mumbai Conservation Committee and the technical staff.
Development Plan and the Draft Development Plan for However, no organizational chart or clarification of the
Greater Mumbai 2014-2034 both include rules for expertise and roles were included.
restricting development and redevelopment as well as
repairs under section 52 ‘Conservation of Heritage’. Furthermore, interpretation, presentation and visitor
management of the nominated property are either
outdated or not clearly outlined in the nomination
dossier.

87
Involvement of the local communities criteria (ii) and (iv) and conditions of integrity and
authenticity.
There is a strong involvement of local communities such
as the ‘Oval Trust’, and ‘Marine Drive Residents’
The 2013 inventory of nominated ensembles should be
Association’. Professional bodies such as the Urban
complemented to include architectural-level
Design Research Institute, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji
documentation and detailed records of the conservation
Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of
state and history of each building.
Wales Museum of Western India) are also active players
in conservation movements.
The site management plan should be extended to
include an organizational chart showing responsibilities
ICOMOS notes the positive involvement of the local
and decision-making processes, the legal provisions of
communities in the protection of the nominated property
the management of the property, an implementation
and the preparation of the nomination dossier.
mechanism for the management action plan, including
resources, staffing and training, and a management
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the management tourism strategy.
system is adequate. ICOMOS recommends that the site
management plan is extended to include an
organizational chart showing responsibilities and
8 Recommendations
decision-making processes, the legal provisions of the
management of the property, an implementation
Recommendations with respect to inscription
mechanism for the management action plan, including
ICOMOS recommends that the Victorian and Art Deco
resources, staffing and training, and a management
Ensemble of Mumbai, India, be inscribed on the World
tourism strategy.
Heritage List on the basis of criteria (ii) and (iv).

Recommended Statement of
6 Monitoring Outstanding Universal Value

Ten indicators are identified by the nomination dossier to Brief synthesis


monitor the state of conservation of the nominated
property, with the identification of periodicity and the Two waves of urban development of Mumbai in the
location of records pertaining to four objectives: 19th and 20th centuries transformed the city from a
Conservation; Public Services & amenities; Buffer zone fortified trading outpost to the first city of India. The first
management; and Risk management. expansion included the construction in the 1880s of a
group of Victorian Gothic public buildings and the
ICOMOS notes that, in general, the indicators identified by creation of the Oval Maidan.
the State Party are appropriate. However, a more precise
periodicity is recommended. Some indicators are not The second expansion was the Backbay Reclamation
directly measurable and may need more specific Scheme in the early 20th century, which offered a new
indicators, such as “survey of larger buffer area to check opportunity for Bombay to expand to the west with Art
the state of buffer zone” and “Infrastructure monitoring”. Deco residential, commercial and entertainment
buildings and the creation of the Marine Drive sea front.
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the monitoring
could be considered adequate, but could be improved by Today the Oval Maidan offers a spectacular ensemble of
introducing more indicators and specifying more precise Victorian Gothic buildings on its eastern side, and
measurable indicators. another impressive ensemble of Art Deco buildings on
its western side as a testimony to the modernization
phases that Mumbai went through leading to a modern
independent India in 1947.
7 Conclusions
Criterion (ii): Both the Victorian Gothic and the Art Deco
ICOMOS acknowledges the significance of the ensemble
ensembles exhibit an important exchange of European
of the Victorian Gothic institutional buildings and the
and Indian human values over a span of time. The
ensemble of the Art Deco residential, commercial and
Victorian assemblage of grand public buildings created
entertainment buildings of Mumbai, each in their own right.
an Indo-Gothic style by blending Gothic revival elements
with Indian elements, with adaptations in response to the
The justification for the Outstanding Universal Value
local climate by introducing balconies and verandas.
should emphasize the territorial aspect of the nominated
Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings of iconic cinema halls and
property and its significance as two waves of urban
apartment buildings blended Indian design with Art Deco
expansion of the city that transformed it into a modern
imagery and created a unique style that became known
mercantile cosmopolitan city. The name of the property
as Indo-Deco. Its influence spread through the Indian
should be changed accordingly. The property meets
sub-continent.

88
Criterion (iv): The Victorian Gothic and Art Deco implementation mechanism for the management action
ensembles reflect the developments in architecture and plan and a management tourism strategy.
urban planning over two centuries. The two ensembles
represent architectural styles, phases in the Additional recommendations
advancements of construction materials and techniques, ICOMOS further recommends that the State Party gives
urban planning philosophies, and historical phases consideration to the following:
which are distinctive and facing each other across the
Oval Maidan. Both ensembles are the creation of the two a) Complete the 2013 inventory to include necessary
major urban expansions of Bombay, which led to the documentation at architectural level, including
development of the city to become the internationally conservation state and conservation history for
important mercantile city of the twentieth century and up each building, which will be necessary for effective
to the present. management of the property,

Integrity b) Ensure the protection of the property from


development pressures, paying special attention to
The assemblage of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco
its wider settings and maintaining the visual
buildings retains a high degree of integrity in visual, spatial
dominance of the skyline by the Rajabai Clock
and planning terms with the Rajabai Clock tower as the
tower,
visual high point and the Oval Maidan, which is a unifying
element and a centrepiece offering to view both the
c) Undertake urgent conservation of the grade IIA
Victorian and the Art Deco groups of buildings. It retains
building, the former Watson’s Hotel (known at
its integrity as a planned urban development. The wider
present as Esplanade Mansions),
settings of the property are vulnerable to urban
development pressures.
d) Ensure revitalization of the Art Deco Eros Cinema,
which is in a fair state of conservation but no longer
Authenticity
functions as a cinema,
The assemblage of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco
buildings meets the conditions of authenticity in terms of e) Back the actions of the Heritage Conservation
architectural form, decorative motifs, design, scale and Committee by documentation of the relevant
material. They also retain their original use. The Oval buildings, the proposals and the implemented
Maidan retains its authenticity as an urban open space interventions,
and Marine Drive retains its setting as a sea-facing Art
Deco development. f) Extend the site management plan to include an
organizational chart showing responsibilities and
Even if individual buildings may have experienced decision-making processes, the legal provisions of
modifications, their living nature, form and design are still the management of the property, an implementation
authentic in general; in particular the use and function of mechanism for the management action plan,
each building remains almost unchanged in both the including resources, staffing and training, and a
Victorian district and the Art Deco district. management tourism strategy;

Management and protection requirements Moreover, ICOMOS recommends that the name of the
property be modified to become: “The Victorian Gothic
The legal protection of the property and buffer zone is
and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai”.
based on the statute of the Government of Maharashtra,
most importantly by the Heritage Regulations for Greater
Bombay 1995, Regulation No. 67 (DCR 67). Under this
regulation, buildings of the property are listed as Grade I,
IIA, IIB or III. The property and its buffer zone fall within
the two heritage precincts: Fort Precinct and Marine
Drive Precinct.

The property is managed according to Section 52 of the


Greater Mumbai Development Plan by the Heritage
Conservation Committee, which was created by DCR
67. The Site Management Plan identifies nine objectives
and presents an action plan consisting of 13 actions,
with an indication of the stakeholders or agencies
involved for each action, and whether it is an ongoing,
short-, medium- or long-term action. It should be
strengthened to include an organizational chart, the legal
provisions of the management of the property, an

89
Map showing the boundaries of the nominated property
The Elphinstone College and David Sassoon Library along with the Watsons Hotel

Majestic Hotel
Consultations
ICOMOS has consulted its International Scientific
The Age of Trade: Old Town of Committees on Shared Built Heritage, Historic Towns and
Jakarta and 4 Outlying Islands Villages and Fortifications and Military Heritage as well as
several independent experts.
(Indonesia)
No 1524 Technical Evaluation Mission
An ICOMOS technical evaluation mission visited the
nominated property from 17 to 23 September 2017.

Additional information received by ICOMOS


Official name as proposed by the State Party A letter was sent by ICOMOS to the State Party on
The Age of Trade: The Old Town of Jakarta (formerly Old 20 September 2017 requesting further clarification and
Batavia) and 4 Outlying Islands (Onrust, Kelor, Cipir and additional information on the serial composition of the
Bidadari) property, the delimitation of boundaries and buffer zones,
disaster preparedness and the likeliness and nature of
Location foreseen future developments in the urban centre and the
Kota Tua (North and West Jakarta), Onrust Island, Cipir sea. A response was received from the State Party on
Island, Kelor Island and Bidadari Island 19 October 2017. The information provided is integrated in
Special Capital Region (DKI) of Jakarta the relevant sections below.
Indonesia
On 24 January 2018, ICOMOS sent an interim report to
Brief description the State Party.
The Age of Trade is a nomination of two component sites,
one located in the Old Town of Jakarta and the other Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
comprising four small islands in Jakarta Bay. The property 14 March 2018
is presented as a chief entrepot of the Dutch East India
Company (VOC) and is said to testify to Dutch overseas
town planning schemes following the ideal city plan of 2 The property
Simon Stevin. The sites include monuments and urban
residential as well as commercial areas, which developed Description
over four centuries. They further comprise docks and The Old Town of Jakarta, formerly known as Batavia, is
harbour facilities as well as archaeological and fortification located in an alluvial plain on the northern coast of Java
remains on the island components. Island along the mouth of the Ciliwung River. The river
provided the town with fresh water but also served as a
Category of property canalized river to access the hinterlands. The city was
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in Article I planned and constructed, inspired by Simon Stevin’s idea
of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a serial of the Ideal City, under the supervision of the Dutch East
nomination of 1 group of buildings and 1 site. India Company (VOC) in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was
built as a trade and administration entrepot for the South
In terms of the Operational Guidelines for the Asian trade activities of the Dutch East India Company. The
Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (12 nominated property area combines historic evidence of
July 2017), Annex 3, it contains also an historic town which military, governmental, administrative and trade functions.
is still inhabited. It also testifies to the multicultural encounters of the regional
Indonesian and South Asian and well as global trading
nations.
1 Basic data
The nominated property is comprised of the area in which
Included in the Tentative List the first fortified settlement designed by the VOC was
30 January 2015 located and includes the former China Town to the south of
the former fortification walls. In addition, four islands in the
International Assistance from the World Heritage Bay of Jakarta which lie around 15km north of the fortified
Fund for preparing the Nomination settlement, Onrust, Kelor, Cipir and Bidadari Islands, are
None included as a second site component. The overall size of
the property including both site components amounts to
Date received by the World Heritage Centre 352 hectares. Almost 40,000 residents live within the urban
25 January 2017 component of Old Jakarta. The two components shall be
described separately below:
Background
This is a new nomination. Old Town of Jakarta (Oud Batavia)
The nominated area can be divided into four areas which
are arranged on either side of the central Kali Besar Canal.

90
The North-Eastern Section includes the foundations of between them included in this site component cover an
Kasteel Batavia, a section of the Northern City Wall, the overall area of a little more than 180 hectares.
Eastern Outer City Canal and the East Godowns, four
warehouses built between 1633 and 1648. The most History and development
prominent building in this section is the Stadhuis, the former The earliest Muslim settlement, Calapa, under the Kingdom
city hall dating back to the 18th century, which now of Banten, existed in Old Jakarta long before Portuguese
accommodates the History of Jakarta Museum. ships first arrived from Malacca in the early 16th century.
The Dutch initially landed at the mouth of Ciliwung River in
The South-Eastern Section includes the foundations of the 1596. In summer 1618, the Dutch East India Company
Bastion Hollandia, which can be seen in the property of the (VOC) received the right to trade in Jakarta (then Jacatra).
Bank of Indonesia and the Sion Church designed by Ewout The conquest and razing of the existing settlement initiated
Verhagen from Rotterdam. In the North-West Section one the construction of the first stone warehouses and
finds another two segments of city walls which are merchant’s residences.
preserved at lengths of 158 and 121 meters respectively.
The walls of Bastion Zeeburg date back to the early Jan Pieterszoon Coen started designing a new Dutch city
17th century but currently serve as oil drum stores or the including the defensive fortress, named Jacatra Fort. In the
back walls of squatted houses. The Bastion Culemborg can later part of the century, a system of city walls, ramparts
still be seen from the water, similar to its former seaside and moats was created around the warehouses,
setting. The West Godowns, four two-storey warehouses administrative buildings and merchant’s residences. It
located in this section, date back to 1652 and retain roofs followed Simon Stevin’s 1649 tract “Vander Oirdening der
in their original condition. They now serve as the Maritime Steden” (On the Structuring of Cities) aimed at constructing
Museum. Further wooden warehouses along the canal an ideal city. This plan combined orthogonal street patterns
provide a floating warehouse environment dating back to inspired by Renaissance ideals with town plans
the 19th century. The one remaining warehouse built by characterized by Dutch engineering and fortification skills.
Jacques de Bollan, dating back to the 17th century, is in
critical condition and requires immediate restoration. The trade activities of the Dutch East India Company in the
17th and 18th centuries were immense and Batavia became
In the South-Eastern Section, the Toko Merah house was its key port. The governing institutions of the VOC East
built by Governor General Baron Gustav Willem von Imhoff India trade were centralized in Batavia after 1619. When
in 1730. Further examples of prominent 19th and the city was completed in 1650, it became the largest VOC-
20th century architecture of the Dutch East Indies can be initiated settlement. In the early 18th century, following the
found in various sections of the property and include, growth of the city, conditions of hygiene became
amongst others, the Kafe Batavia, the Chartered Bank of concerning and in 1733 a malaria epidemic struck Batavia.
India, Australia and China, and the Rotterdamsche Lloyd The extremely high mortality rates in the late 18th century
Building. The nominated site component located in the Old led to Batavia’s decline and earned it the title of “Graveyard
Town of Jakarta has an overall size of 172 hectares. of the East”.

The Outlying Islands of Onrust, Kelor, Cipir and Bidadari In 1808, Marshall Herman Willem Daendels took over the
This second site component is formed by four islands and rule of Batavia and was instructed to defend it on behalf
the sea between them, located around 15km north of of Napoleon’s France against possible British attacks.
Jakarta Old Town in Jakarta Bay. Onrust Island already had Afraid of being unable to defend the city, he demolished
a functioning shipyard and warehouses in 1615 when the much of it, using the stones to construct a new city,
VOC founded Batavia. Only the old wharf, which is still Weltevreden, to its south.
used, and the VOC graveyard remain today from the time
of the Dutch East India Company. Archaeological The outlying islands, in particular Onrust Island, were
excavations during the past three decades have traced used as VOC shipyards as early as 1613. After the
several foundations of other VOC structures. A monument construction of a new VOC shipyard in the Old Town of
from a later period are the foundation walls of the haj Jakarta, the Onrust shipyard remained reserved for the
quarantine station which processed up to 3,000 pilgrims largest ships only. At the forefront of defence in Jakarta
returning from Mecca every year. Bay, a battery was erected on Onrust in the 1650s and in
1656 the fortification was reinforced by a fort, which was
Kelor Island is the outermost of the four islands and acts as later expanded. There was also a small church and a
a protective barrier from marine erosion for the others. In gunpowder magazine. In the 18th century more than 200
locations where erosion was strongest, protective concrete men worked on Onrust Island in ship-building and
walls and breakwater structures were added to the maintenance. In 1800 the British besieged and destroyed
coastline. The island retains the architectural remains of the the Onrust shipyard. The Dutch rebuilt it in 1806 but it was
circular tower of a Martello Fort. Cipir Island comprises the again destroyed in 1808.
remains of a 19th century leprosarium and two old cannons.
Finally, Bidadari Island completes the group of four islands The other three islands mainly housed further defence as
and is run as a commercial holiday resort. It predominantly well as quarantine functions. Following this period, the
exhibits the well preserved remains of a Martello Fort with islands hosted prisons for political opponents. All islands
outer and inner walls. The four islands including the sea suffered during the recent period between 1968-71, when

91
they were without administrative responsibility and The selection of comparators seems to be inconsistent as
ownership and were heavily looted. Finally, in 1972 they it changes from one context of attributes to the next. The
were declared as historic preservation sites by the World Heritage property of Melaka, for example, is
government of Indonesia. compared in its capacity to represent Dutch colonial city
planning but does not feature in the comparison of cities
of multicultural trade influences, although this context
3 Justification for inscription, integrity and explicitly led to its recognition as a World Heritage
authenticity property in 2008. ICOMOS further considers that some of
the judgements made in relation to indicators contradict
Comparative analysis information provided in other sources on the respective
The comparative analysis follows a stringent methodology properties. For example, the Dutch colonial settlement of
aimed at assessing key measurable factors related to the Semarang in Indonesia is compared as less diverse in
different themes presented under the selected criteria. terms of multicultural representations by only reflecting
The division of attributes to be compared according to the the testimony of three international, and one local, cultural
different criteria and key themes, VOC city planning, trade groups. ICOMOS notes in this context, that Semarang Old
networks, multicultural encounters and vernacular ship- Town was listed on the Indonesian Tentative List in 2015
building and building traditions, suggests a lack of explicitly as an exceptional example of a multicultural
cohesion among the various justifications laid out for the trading town, naming far more cultural influences than are
exceptionality of the property. recognized in the present comparative analysis.

The nomination compares the property as representative In summary, ICOMOS considers that in its present
of an exceptional Dutch city plan, drawing on indicators methodology, form and content, the comparative analysis
such as the date of foundation, the size of the city and its cannot succeed in highlighting any exceptionality which
urban spatial arrangement. It carries on to compare the could justify Outstanding Universal Value for Jakarta Old
city as a multicultural and heterogeneous space, by Town. ICOMOS further notes that the Comparative
considering among other things the number of ethnic Analysis fails to compare the contribution of the four
communities which immigrated to the city and the number islands to the property as well as the relevance of each in
of hybrid cultural expressions created through these its contribution to the attributes compared.
migration processes. Following on from these, also
international trade influences on the cityscapes and ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis does
regional traditions of ship-building are examined and not justify consideration of this property for the World
compared. Heritage List.

The first focus of comparison is cities influenced by Dutch Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
colonial trade activities, including Dutch-founded and The nominated property is considered by the State Party
designed settlements like Cape Town, South Africa; to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural
Mauritsstad, now part of Recipe, Brazil; Willemstad, property for the following reasons:
Curacao, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997
under criteria (ii), (iv) and (v); and Paramaribo, Suriname, • The property is said to be exceptional as the centre of
inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2002 under criteria an expansive trade network established by the Dutch
(ii) and (iv). A second comparison is focused on Dutch East India Company. During the 17th and
colonial settlements integrating previously existing 18th centuries, the Old Town of Jakarta and with it its
indigenous or Portuguese cities such as Semarang, four outlying Islands became the town with the largest
Surabaya, and Melaka, Malaysia, part of the serial World volume of trade in Asia and became the entrepot for
Heritage property Melaka and George Town, Historic the Dutch East India Company as well as the hub for
Cities of the Straits of Malacca, inscribed on the World its logistics;
Heritage List in 2008 under criteria (ii), (iii) and (iv). • The Old Town of Jakarta and 4 Outlying Islands is
considered to still reflect the ground plan of the Dutch
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis colonial city plan inspired by Simon Stevin’s concept
illustrates several weaknesses, which prevent it from of an ideal city, including its key elements of
presenting a convincing case for the nominated property. defensive, administrative and residential structures;
Firstly, the current state of preservation of the compared • According to the nomination dossier, the number of
sites has not been taken into consideration in the different ethnic groups and cultures that congregated
comparative analysis. Historic sizes or trade volumes can and settled in the Old Town of Jakarta and its environs
say much about the importance of a city in historic terms is more varied than nearly anywhere else in the world.
but do not give adequate information on the contemporary This fact is assumed to have created a multicultural
representation of this history. Secondly, the comparative heritage reflected in the many different communities
analysis appears fragmented due to the State Party’s that were formed and remains legible in the still-
approach of comparing the attributes of each criterion existing names of districts, the different religious
separately. This way, several distinct features are buildings, architectural styles, as well as in the
analysed but not the capacity of the combination of these intangible cultural heritage.
features to be considered exceptional.

92
ICOMOS considers that while fragile remains of the ICOMOS also considers that Old Jakarta is not unique as
original Dutch city plan and trade centre can still be a harbour city formed by the globalising trade routes of
recognized today, it has not been justified in which way colonial activities as there are many others, including
these remains can be considered exceptional attributes of some which have already been inscribed on the World
the proposed Outstanding Universal Value. Likewise, on Heritage List. As a result, ICOMOS considers that the
the notion of the testimony of intercultural trade justification provided is not appropriate in relation to the
exchanges reflected by Jakarta’s contemporary multi- serial property proposed.
culturalism, hybrid cultures and general policy towards
inclusiveness, ICOMOS recognizes that Jakarta is home Integrity and authenticity
to people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
However, it has not been demonstrated in what way this Integrity
multiculturalism can be understood as exceptional when
The two serial components are said to have been selected
compared to the many other significant trade centres in
in order to present the proposed Outstanding Universal
the wider region.
Value in a comprehensive and complete way. However, in
ICOMOS’s view, despite further explanation provided by
In its request for additional information sent to the State
the State Party in the additional information requested by
Party on 20 September 2017, ICOMOS requested further
ICOMOS, it is not clear in what way the inclusion of the four
elaboration on the rationale of a serial nomination
outlying islands strengthens the arguments set forth in the
proposal towards the reflection of the suggested
nomination. It appears that the remaining physical evidence
Outstanding Universal Value as well as further
on the islands retains only scarce remains dating back to
explanation of the distinct contribution of the outlying
the key period of the Golden Age of Trade.
islands to the above value themes. The response
received on 19 October 2017 outlines that the islands
The urban design in relation to the Stevin plan, which is
provide an essential component needed to present a
strongly emphasized by the nomination authors as the key
coherent story of Old Jakarta as the VOC first arrived on
value of the site, is not easily legible in present day Kota
these islands and were given permission to repair their
Tua. Defensive walls have been demolished several times,
boats there before settling in Jakarta. It is explained that
the last time in the 19th century, former canals have been
the islands hosted the first warehouses and acted as the
converted into streets, and new constructions transgress
first line of defence in the Dutch defence system.
former plot divisions. Whilst as an academic exercise the
development of the contemporary urban plan on the basis
ICOMOS considers that the physical evidence retained on
of the VOC design may be recognized, in terms of integrity
the four islands does not substantiate these claims and
it is difficult to understand how the urban formation of
that as a result of the already undertaken as well as
Jakarta by the Dutch East India Company could be
permitted and ongoing land reclamations in the Bay of
represented with a level of completeness that the concept
Jakarta, the visual connection between the two proposed
of integrity demands for World Heritage properties.
components has been lost. This visual connection,
Although the grid of the 1650 layout can indeed in many
however, would have strongly supported the
places still be traced, a lot of alterations have taken place
understanding as to how the islands acted as an outer
which obscure a general legibility. In fact, even the authors
defence for Old Batavia, which has now become rather
of the nomination dossier suggest that the former extension
difficult to communicate.
of the historic Dutch settlements is so difficult to distinguish
now, that two gates of an historical appearance should be
ICOMOS further notes that the connection between the
erected to mark the boundary.
tangible remains and architectural and urban evidence
included in the nominated property area and the
In terms of the overall urban fabric, Old Jakarta contains
somewhat artificially strong focus on a specific period, the
architectural developments of the 20th century which must
Golden Age of Trade of the 17th and 18th centuries, is
be considered as unsympathetic intrusions. Some of these
rather scarce. On the contrary, the contemporary Old
are located in the property, quite a number of others in the
Town of Kota Tua contains an impressive ensemble of
immediate setting of the buffer zone. These existing
20th century interwar buildings, erected for Dutch
developments have irreversibly changed the visual
businesses connected to maritime trade, such as banks,
appearance and skyline of Kota Tua. Further high-rise
insurance companies, produce brokers, etc, all of which
developments within the property have been applied for
were nationalised in 1948 and taken over by various
and at least one seems to have been granted planning
Indonesian State Agencies. These have little to no
permission.
relation to the Golden Age of Trade but form a style locally
called “Javanese Art Deco”, which became known as the
Among other developments in both the property and buffer
first Indonesian national style. It remains unclear as to
zone are the approved and ongoing reclamation of 17
whether this style could form a relevant basis for
islands which will be located between the two property
international recognition as no focus was given to it in the
components, which will cover an overall area of over 5000
proposed Outstanding Universal Value or the
hectares. The centre piece of these reclamations, the Great
Comparative Analysis.
Seawall Project, a planned reclamation with a seawall or
dyke to keep water out of the city and to help slow

93
subsidence, is currently proposed but not yet formally Criteria under which inscription is proposed
approved. In addition, the State Party informed ICOMOS in The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria
the additional information submitted on 19 October 2017 (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v).
that the new MRT railway is planned to be constructed in
the southern part of the property, which will be crossed by Criterion (ii): exhibit an important interchange of human
approximately 400 metres of railway line and one station. values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the
The exact design and location of the rail tracks and the world, on developments in architecture or technology,
station is yet to be decided. monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds


Authenticity
that the Old Town of Jakarta was the main entrepot and
In recent decades, Jakarta has been one of the fastest rendezvous point for the VOC as well as its capital and
growing cities in the world, which has led to a lot of powerhouse in Asia. It is said to represent the peak of 17th
development pressures and building activities. Although to and 18th century Dutch overseas architecture and town
a lesser extent than at some other places in the city, these planning in Asia as the most exceptional example of a
have also taken place within the Old Town of Jakarta, so “Dutch Colonial City” town plan inspired by the principles
that authenticity has become difficult to confirm with regard of Simon Stevin’s “Ideal Scheme for a City” in Asia.
to the built fabric. Whilst individual houses and complexes
are well conserved and testify authentically in terms of form ICOMOS considers that the property component of Old
and design to their period of construction, others are in a Jakarta provides evidence of interchanges of human
dilapidated state or have been replaced or over- values over time, which, however, cannot be related to the
modernized. This diversity of urban fabric with a large VOC city plan or the peak centuries of Dutch trade activity.
majority of 19th and 20th century architecture makes it The VOC plan established different residential quarters,
difficult to speak of a homogenous or authentic urban which made the city and its surrounding area into a
context. patchwork of different cultures and traditions. This created
an imposition of Dutch values and also a multicultural
Ongoing restoration and rehabilitation projects are not existence but not strong evidence of cultural
always designed to prominently address requirements of interchanges. Interchanges particularly flourished in the
authenticity. For example, the central Canal Kali Besar, 19th and 20th centuries and relate not only to the
highlighted as one of the key features of the VOC city plan, exceptionally long Dutch presence in the region until 1948
is presently being renovated with the introduction of but also to the various Asian exchanges which occurred
concrete slabs on its ground surface and the canal walls in this period.
being rebuilt. The same applies to squatter housing, which
is being removed from silted up channels which are then ICOMOS further considers that the second property
reconstructed to reinstall the Stevin city plan. ICOMOS component of the four Outlying islands cannot make a
considers that the development of the city over time and in significant and discernible contribution to the theme of
particular the architectural remains of the 19th and early human interchanges highlighted by this criterion.
20th centuries in Kota Tua add to the understanding of the
historic centre it forms today. Reconstruction solely aimed ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
at improving the town planning features of the Golden Age justified.
of Trade in the 17th and 18th centuries should be carefully
reconsidered. ICOMOS recommends in particular that the
Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional
ongoing restoration and redevelopment projects on the
testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is
20th century heritage of Kota Tua should be guided by
living or which has disappeared;
taking into full account the various information sources of
authenticity, which characterize these representations of a This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
regional expression of Art Deco. that Jakarta provides a testimony to an important network
of international, Intra-Asian and inter-islands trade. It is
Use and function of the property has significantly changed said to have experienced an unprecedented scale of
but remains authentic in some key areas, in particular in the intermingling of various local peoples from all over the
area of the harbour as well as some religious structures, Indonesian Archipelago, bringing their own differing
godowns and warehouses. The setting of the site, however, cultures, beliefs and traditions and provides the living
is significantly compromised in terms of authenticity, both in example for the creation of the Indonesian State and an
terms of the relationship of the two property components Indonesian culture.
which have become disconnected as a result of land
reclamation as well as in the urban context, through ICOMOS considers that the justification provided is
infrastructure and high-rise developments. closely linked to value concepts usually recognized under
criterion (ii) in relation to the interchange of human values.
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the condition of The capacity of Old Jakarta to provide testimony to the
integrity has not been met and that authenticity can be cultural and trade exchanges during the Golden Age of
demonstrated for individual buildings but is lacking for the Trade in the 17th and 18th centuries has already been
urban context of the serial property. discussed under criterion (ii) above. In contemporary

94
times, Jakarta certainly forms a hub of a very rich and ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
intricate network of cultures. justified.

However, ICOMOS considers that it has not been justified


Criterion (v): be an outstanding example of traditional
in what way the representation of the variety of Indonesian
human settlement, land use or sea use which is
cultures and selected other Asian communities can be
representative of a culture (or cultures), or human
considered to be exceptional at a wider regional or even
interaction with the environment especially when it has
global scale. The contribution of sites to national identities
become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible
is not usually recognized under the World Heritage
change;
Convention in terms of Outstanding Universal Value. In
addition, a number of World Heritage Sites are already This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
recognized as reflecting the intermingling of cultures that the Sunda Kelapa harbour is a wharf built specifically
based on trade exchanges in Asia, including Melaka and for traditional, vernacular wooden cargo boats with its
Georgetown, historic cities in the straits of Malacca, attendant maritime community at Kampung Luar Batang.
Malaysia; Kulangsu, a historic international settlement; It represents Indonesia’s fleet of traditional wooden cargo
and the Historic Centre of Macao, China, to name merely boats, said to be the largest in the world, which reflects a
a few examples. It has not been demonstrated in what tradition of sailing and ship building going back to the
way Old Jakarta can be said to stand out at a global scale. 9th century. According to the State Party, this port and the
ICOMOS further notes that the second site component of Luar Batang have become vulnerable to the impact of the
the four Outlying islands cannot make a meaningful and development of modern shipping and air transport as well
discernible contribution to this criterion. as a shortage of wood for shipbuilding.

ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been ICOMOS considers that whilst ship-building traditions at
justified. Sunda Kelapa harbour continue and the wharf retains the
atmosphere of a traditional cargo harbour, very few
immovable, tangible remains testify to these traditions in
Criterion (iv): be an outstanding example of a type of
a way recognized by the World Heritage Convention. The
building, architectural or technological ensemble or
nomination does not identify any attributes that could refer
landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in
to centuries of ship-building traditions and accordingly
human history;
there are no indications that existing attributes could be
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds exceptional at a wider regional or global level.
that an unprecedented amount of trade created by the Furthermore, one interesting element in terms of the long-
VOC ushered in a significant stage in human history, term development of the site is that the VOC hindered
namely, the Golden Age of Trade, which was reflected in continuous development of local ship-building traditions
the architecture and technological ensemble of the Old by forbidding traditional wooden crafts to sail outside the
Town of Jakarta and 4 Outlying Islands. The town plan Indonesian Archipelago, in order to maintain its trade
inspired by the spirit of Simon Stevin’s ideal city is monopoly in the wider region.
represented as an exceptional settlement type, built by
merchants specifically as a trade town with the elements ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
of government, military and residential amenities to which justified.
the four outlying islands contribute significant functions for
defence and ship repair.
In conclusion, ICOMOS does not consider that the criteria
have been justified.
ICOMOS considers that Old Batavia was indeed an
unusually coherent type of settlement designed by the
Dutch East India Company, which adapted Dutch city
planning principles to the geographic and military needs 4 Factors affecting the property
of the location. However, ICOMOS also considers that the
legibility of this type of settlement has been reduced over The Old Centre of Jakarta is heavily impacted by urban
the centuries due to the disappearance of key elements, development, both, already undertaken and further
such as the city walls, the fort, as well as many canals planned. Jakarta is the fastest growing centre in
which silted up and were built upon. As a result of further Indonesia and subject to pressures of urbanization and
developments in the 19th and 20th centuries, it has urban expansion. According to the additional information
become difficult to recognize the exact extent and provided by the State Party at the request of ICOMOS on
features of the VOC-designed city. ICOMOS therefore 19 October 2017, the Jakarta City administration has
considers that whilst historically Old Jakarta constituted opted to reduce the immediate pressures on the inner city
an exceptional example of a VOC-designed Dutch by means of new housing on land reclaimed within
colonial trade centre, the contemporary state of Jakarta Bay. At present, 17 islands with an overall size of
preservation and level of integrity no longer enables it to more than 5000 hectares are being created between the
be considered as an exceptional representation at a two property components. ICOMOS considers that these
global scale. islands and the proposed but not yet approved Great
Seawall Project change dramatically the seascape of

95
Jakarta and obscure the visual connections between the impacts on neighbouring structures constructed on wooden
property components. ICOMOS further considers that piles in traditional techniques.
high-rise developments in the historic centre, both within
the property and the buffer zone, have impacted ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property
negatively on the historic and visual integrity of the urban are urban and infrastructure developments as well as land
setting. subsidence, flooding and water-related natural disasters
for which no risk or disaster management plans exist.
Transport infrastructure is likewise of concern. An
elevated motorway already bisects the property. The
anticipated project to construct the rail-based mass 5 Protection, conservation and
transport system, Jakarta MRT Route, through the
management
property, the exact footprint and design of which is not yet
defined, raises further concerns. Not only the railway
Boundaries of the nominated property
tracks but also a full station is planned in the south-
and buffer zone
western area of the property and the start of construction
The boundaries of the property were determined by the
is envisaged in 2019. ICOMOS considers that it is
extension of the Dutch colonial city designed by the VOC
essential that all development projects, including land
as it existed in 1667. Beyond these boundaries, China
reclamations, housing and infrastructure developments
Town is included in the south and an extension towards the
as well as commercial investments, should be considered
sea shore in the north which aims to relate the property to
by means of Heritage Impact Assessments before any
the sea despite the land reclamations which occurred along
planning approvals are granted by the city administration.
the coast during the 20th century. It appears that in early
considerations of the nomination proposal a site of 800
Last but not least, ICOMOS notes that many of the 19th
hectares was envisaged, which was reduced to the now
and 20th century architectural structures of heritage
submitted 352 hectares. These boundaries roughly
character are presently being restored and redeveloped.
correlate to the area on which the Kota Tua Unit was given
ICOMOS considers that this is a crucial moment for the
managerial mandate by provincial jurisdiction.
future transmission of Kota Tua and the preservation of
the Indonesian Art Deco which remains documented
Whilst the property in this delineation covers most physical
there. In ICOMOS’s view it is therefore of utmost
evidence of the 17th and 18th century Golden Age of Trade
importance to guide the redevelopment and revitalization
urban extension, several other potential attributes related to
works to pay full respect to the remaining authenticity of
interchanges of cultures and the unusually long presence
individual buildings.
in Jakarta of Dutch colonial activity are not included inside
the property. The rationale of combining four islands within
Although Old Jakarta is already a major visitor attraction,
one serial component, including the sea around them, is not
it does not seem at risk of overcrowding. However,
fully elucidated.
individual buildings, in particular museums in historic
structures, suffer a large amount of visitors on peak
As indicated by the State Party in the additional information
weekend hours. Likewise, the access to the Old Town by
provided on 19 October 2017 at the request of ICOMOS,
means of private vehicles, both cars and motorcycles, can
the buffer zone in Old Jakarta is defined by two rationales,
be difficult due to lack of parking spaces.
which are to protect relevant visual perspectives and
settings of individual key buildings, as well as the aim of
The Old City and all four islands are relatively low lying and
including specific structures of national importance into the
barely a few metres above the high tide mark. This means
buffer zone. At the second serial component of the four
that they are subject to coastal erosion, sea abrasion and
outlying islands, the buffer zone is determined by a
natural hazards. All of the four islands have been reduced
70 metre perimeter around the shore integrated in a
in both height and overall area over time. Land subsidence
rectangular boundary shape.
is also prevalent in Old Jakarta, which is reported to sink by
around 7cm every year. This subsidence is caused by
In ICOMOS’s view, the buffer zone delimitation also raises
underground water extraction from the aquifers, but it is
a number of questions, in particular in view of its
mostly influenced by natural factors.
effectiveness and protective capability. Within the municipal
zoning for the buffer zone, one finds different levels of
The property is highly vulnerable to flooding. Both the
scrutiny indicated by different zones of permissible land
national and provincial governments give high priority to
uses and floor space ratios. The buffer zone of the
address the seasonal flooding which, however, remains a
nominated component in historic Jakarta is indicated in
major issue. High rainfall resulting in high tides can, and
municipal maps by one pink and another blue zone (titled
regularly does, have detrimental impacts on the property.
as ‘supportive buffer’ and ‘development buffer’). However,
Evacuation plans for extreme flooding or tsunamis were not
the municipal codes do not specify as to what may be
presented despite the request for this information by
permissible within each type of buffer and what guidelines
ICOMOS in its request for additional information and during
would apply in each, to retain facades, retain a local area
its technical evaluation mission. However, in complete
character, and/or a maximum height in metres or storeys.
contrast to flooding, the draining of certain areas,
specifically carried out to allow for new construction,

96
The Kota Tua Management Unit has no involvement or Decisions concerning development requests in the property
impact on planning permissions granted in these areas. and buffer zone are made on a case-by-case basis and are
decided upon by the urban planning authorities in the
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of Jakarta City administration in line with land use and zoning
the nominated property do not include all potential regulations in RDTR (detailed spatial plan) of DKI Jakarta
attributes of the property and that its buffer zone is not Province for Old Town Jakarta. Within this plan the Old
adequate in terms of delimitation and protective Town is indicated as a Heritage Area following Regulation
effectiveness. of Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta No. 1/2012.

The Kota Tua Unit, as the Site Management agency,


Ownership
appears to be surprisingly uninvolved in the process of
According to the nomination dossier, ownership within the
granting planning and building permissions. It appears that
property area is 50% private, 48% owned by state
they are neither consulted nor given any capacity to
government agencies, and 2% by the City of Jakarta. The
influence decision-making processes. It remains to the
2% of land in municipal ownership are the 6 local museums
urban planning authorities to give due consideration to the
under the direction of the Kota Tua Unit. The government
notion of the heritage area in the special spatial plan. In
agencies who own 48% act as private enterprises, and
ICOMOS’s view, several recently implemented high-rise
derive some of their annual budgets from this land, such as
and infrastructure developments and regeneration projects
leasing to, or being in an arrangement with, private
indicate that these planning decisions lack heritage
businesses.
expertise and have not managed to ensure the protection
of the property and its setting.
Nationalised former Dutch bank buildings, however, cannot
be sold or used for a purpose other than as a bank or as a
museum. This creates a dilemma as these are prominent In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the legal protection
buildings occupying large lots, without adequate concepts in place is not adequate and that the current system for
for use. An organisation of mainly larger business granting of planning and building permissions does not
interests in the Old Town was formed in 2013 called support heritage conservation concerns.
JOTRC (Jakarta Old Town Revitalisation Corporation). It
operates on a public-private partnership model with some Conservation
state agencies and aims to also represent the interests of The state of conservation of historic Jakarta raises
private land owners. concerns. In the words of the nomination authors, the
condition of the area has faded from the old image of a
Protection vibrant trading centre into a slowly decaying historic district.
Indonesian legislation has two tiers for heritage concerns – The degradation of the Old Town's condition is considered
national and provincial. The most recent national Cultural the main concern in the conservation scheme within the
Heritage Protection Law is law 11 of 2010. It requires area. The preserved architectural structures show various
enactment by each provincial level of government, which is states of conservation ranging from appropriate
yet to occur for the City of Jakarta. Presently valid at conservation and inadequate reconstructions to serious
provincial level is the regulation of the Provincial conditions of decay and dilapidation, including that of key
Government of DKI Jakarta No. 9/1999 concerning monuments dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. In
Conservation and Utilization of Cultural Heritage many cases, the contemporary usage of these structures is
Environment and Buildings. This regulation sets criteria for not conducive to their heritage status.
the determination and classification of the cultural heritage
environment, setting, and buildings, preservation of the Whilst the state of conservation of each listed building has
same, and the utilization of it. been recently documented, the site management team
lacks resources, both financial and in terms of human
ICOMOS notes that due to the lack of enactment of the capacity, to respond to the manifold urgent conservation
2010 Cultural Protection Law in the DKI Jakarta Province, needs. Impacts of regular seasonal floods as well as
heritage sites there cannot currently be recognized under draining for new constructions further aggravate
this legislation at the highest, national level. As such, the conservation concerns. In ICOMOS’s view capacity
Old Town of Jakarta was declared a provincial conservation building for conservation and provision of adequate
area in 1995, but is not yet confirmed at national level. resources need to be emphasized to ensure the long-term
conservation of the property.
For the buffer zone, no legal regulations have been issued
defining the protective measures or applied development In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the overall state of
restrictions. Spatial planning decisions are driven at a conservation of the property raises concern as several
National Level, in a government structure which recently structures are in advanced states of decay and
united the National Ministry of Land and Spatial Planning dilapidation, and that further capacity-building initiatives
with the Ministry of Public Works and National Land and resources are needed to address the essential
Agency. In effect, the property and its buffer zone would conservation needs.
first need to be acknowledged at a national level to impact
provincial and municipal planning decisions, which,
however, has not yet occurred.

97
Management case of fire nor are there any plans to address the risks of
floods or tsunamis. The lack of any prepared response to
Management structures and processes, these is even more surprising, given the increasingly
including traditional management processes frequent occurrence of floods in Jakarta. ICOMOS
recommends putting in place risk and disaster
The overall management responsibility lies with the City
preparedness plans for all likely natural disasters that could
Authorities in coordination with two partners, the Ministry of
occur in the property.
Culture, Elementary and Secondary Education and the
Government of DKI Jakarta. The Jakarta Old Town
Policy framework: management plans and
Revitalization Corporation (JOTRC) – a public-private
arrangements, including visitor management
partnership - is said to be responsible for daily management
and presentation
of the property with the appropriate local authorities. Whilst
ICOMOS explicitly welcomes public-private partnerships in A heritage management plan is anticipated to be prepared
the management of heritage sites, in this case it has not for the property. A street vendor management plan exists
been defined what the exact mandate and responsibilities for the Old Town of Jakarta and is often referred to as the
of the JOTRC are and for what kind of concerns the management plan in the nomination. However, it is focused
government partners need to be consulted or responsible. on processes of locating, licensing and supervising street
vendors and cannot be considered a heritage management
The provincial city authorities have designated a special plan as stipulated in the Operational Guidelines (2017).
unit for the management of the site under the provincial City
of Jakarta Ministry of Tourism and Culture, called the UPK The heritage management plan under preparation will aim
(Kota Tua Unit). This seemed necessary as the Old Town at three key objectives: (a) the reduction of the rate of decay
extends into two different municipal precincts: North and and conservation of historic monuments; (b) the control of
West Jakarta. The unit accordingly responds and reports to speculative investments that might jeopardize the value of
two mayors. Whilst the nomination highlights the day-to- the historic area; and (c) a tourism development plan. No
day coordination of the JOTRC, it appears that in practice timeframe has been provided for the completion of this
the UPK is entrusted with most of the day-to-day management plan.
management affairs. It also acts as a coordinator and
communicator between all other stakeholders involved in Interpretation is provided on the four islands as well as in
the management processes. the Old Town museums. At specific locations additional
information is available to assist understanding of the
However, the Kotu Tua Unit has no jurisdictional or other historic centre. Although the Stevin Plan has been utilized
mandate for management of the four islands and in to create the logo of the historic city, locally-available
consequence there is no overarching management unit or maps and signboards to guide visitors around include no
system for the two components of the property. The Unit references to the extent of the Dutch colonial city. Each
also seems not to be involved in the granting of planning individual historic monument has an information board,
and building permissions in the property or buffer zone, identifying also its date of heritage designation. Old Town
except when an individually-listed building is directly mobile applications are available and, in addition to
concerned. In such cases an expert panel is consulted. human guides, provide the most comprehensive
ICOMOS notes a clear need for better communication and explanation for heritage values and features.
cooperation between municipal, provincial and national
structures responsible for the management of the site. The city has plans to increase the pedestrianized area in
the Old Town, which would certainly be beneficial in terms
In terms of personnel, the heritage expertise of those of conservation and enhanced quality visits. In line with
involved in the site administration needs to be the aim of reducing vehicular traffic, buses will no longer
strengthened. Based on an Indonesian practice of moving be able to access the property and outside parking spaces
civil servants frequently within the government sector, will be created.
specific heritage qualifications gained through professional
practice disappear with rotation. ICOMOS further considers Involvement of the local communities
that the site management unit would benefit from better
Community involvement is facilitated by the Jakarta Old
understanding of town planning processes and the policies
Town Revitalization Corporation (JOTRC), which
and processes which drive the granting of planning and
represents not only private property owners and merchants
building permissions.
in the area but aims at involving all other residents. Street
vendors have been identified as a particularly important
Risk and disaster management is not adequately
stakeholder group and a management plan for their
developed in Old Jakarta. Whilst the Kota Tua Fire Station
activities within the property has been developed. The aim
is centrally located to quickly address any fire and now,
of this plan was to communicate that a potential World
after a listed temple burned down due to the use of
Heritage status would not prevent street vendor activities
excessively large candles, several museums and public
but localize them in designated areas.
buildings are equipped with fire detection systems, risk or
disaster management plans are not available. There are no
prioritization plans for the evacuation of cultural heritage in

98
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the property lacks ICOMOS considers, however, that the justification of
an overarching management system for the two Outstanding Universal Value provided does not succeed
components and that the management system for Old in demonstrating Outstanding Universal Value under
Jakarta is not adequate in terms of mandate given to the either of the themes presented. This is essentially due to
management unit, as well as the formal coordination the state of conservation as well as level of integrity and
processes established and resources available. Special authenticity of the property. The 17th and 18th century
attention is needed to ensure capacity building and Dutch city plan said to be inspired by Simon Stevin’s
retention of heritage expertise at all levels of involved model of the ideal Asian city has become almost illegible
government agencies and the preparation of a heritage today, following the demolition of the majority of the city
management plan, including risk preparedness and walls, the Batavia fort, and the silting up of and
disaster response plans for likely natural disasters. construction upon several canals. As such, although Old
Batavia was indeed an important Dutch creation of a
colonial city, what remains today cannot be considered
unique or exceptional when compared at a wider regional
6 Monitoring
or global level.

A monitoring system has been established in the process


In terms of the notion of Jakarta being a testimony to
of preparing the nomination for the Old Town of Jakarta
multiculturalism and the approach of inclusiveness
(formerly Old Batavia) and 4 Outlying Islands (Onrust,
celebrated by Indonesia today, ICOMOS notes that it has
Kelor, Cipir and Bidadari). The system is linked to the
not been demonstrated in what way these expressions
Governor Decree 26/2014 concerning the master plan of
could be said to equal or surpass those of other significant
the Old Town of Jakarta area.
trade centres in the wider region, some of which are
already recognized as World Heritage properties for this
Indicators for the monitoring exercise are identified in line
reason. ICOMOS considers that the physical attributes
with the four proposed nomination criteria and focus on
representing traditional boat building activities are not
the following objectives: the preservation of Stevin’s city
significant enough to demonstrate an Outstanding
plan, the continuation of multicultural traditions, the
Universal Value. ICOMOS observes that the value
revitalization of historic neighbourhoods to become
justification presented by the nomination is often related
centres of economic growth, social vibrancy and tourism,
to the importance and function the site components had
as well as the restoration of architectural evidence in the
in historic periods, whereas only limited and often barely
property.
legible physical remains of these times remain preserved
today.
The indicators are presented in tabular format in line with
the proposed criterion they apply to, the frequency as well
In terms of the general conception of the nomination,
as responsible body for the documentation, and the
ICOMOS considers that the heritage of the 19th and, in
anticipated judgement in terms of the monitoring result.
particular, the 20th century which is located within the
ICOMOS considers that several indicators could be more
property is given very little emphasis in the nomination,
easily judged if they were grouped around common themes
even though it appears to be the most characterizing
rather than nomination criteria and drafted more specifically
element which shapes the appearance of Jakarta’s Old
and measurably, but that in principle the approach to
Town today. ICOMOS therefore recommends paying
monitoring is acceptable.
close attention to current investments and revitalization
projects for 19th and 20th century architecture in Kotu Tua,
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the monitoring as these projects need to be guided by heritage
system designed is acceptable, whilst individual conservation concerns in order to preserve, in the long-
indicators could be improved. term, the character of the city.

ICOMOS regrets that the two components presented in


7 Conclusions this nomination are not linked well enough to present
shared value concepts and are not administered by
The nomination proposal of the Age of Trade: The Old means of a joint management system. The physical state
Town of Jakarta (formerly Old Batavia) and 4 Outlying of conservation of remains on the islands does not
Islands (Onrust, Kelor, Cipir and Bidadari) presents a substantiate the claims made regarding their contribution
serial nomination of two components: a historic city centre to certain historic periods, in particular the Golden Age of
based on a Dutch colonial trade settlement founded in the Trade in the 17th and 18th centuries. The nomination does
17th century and four islands in the Bay of Jakarta, which neither demonstrate that the four outlying islands make a
contributed to the city’s outer defence and port system. relevant discernible contribution to the value concepts
The key focus of the proposed justification of Outstanding presented, nor could the series, as composed, be
Universal Value lies on the historic Dutch city plan. considered to demonstrate integrity. In conclusion,
Additional themes explored include human exchanges of ICOMOS considers that none of the criteria has been
trade and culture as well as traditional ship-building. justified and the condition of integrity has not been
demonstrated. Whilst authenticity can be observed at the
level of some individual buildings, ICOMOS considers that

99
essential information sources such as authenticity of
function, setting and atmosphere have been irreversibly
lost at a larger urban scale.

In addition, the property is at risk from various factors.


Significant urban and infrastructure development is in
progress, with over 5000 hectares of landfill currently
being reclaimed between the two site components and
major rail infrastructure envisaged to be constructed in the
property. Heritage Impact Assessments are not integrated
into the present planning and building permission
procedures nor are heritage experts consulted or heard
unless an individually-listed monument is concerned. The
historic centre of Jakarta is also at severe risk of seasonal
flooding, continuous land subsidence and tsunamis, for
which no risk preparedness or disaster management
plans exist. Both property components are extremely
vulnerable to climate change and its effects, such as
extreme weather events and sea level rises.

Protection measures for both property and buffer zone are


not sufficiently effective to prevent negative impacts of
future developments. Historic structures in the property
are retained at various levels of preservation, including
important historic structures in advanced states of decay
and dilapidation. In several cases the contemporary use
of these structures is not favourable to their heritage
value. The site administration seems to lack capacity and
resources to tackle the enormous conservation
challenges at hand.

The property lacks an overall management system but a


unit has been established to manage the area of the urban
serial component of Old Jakarta, the Kota Tua Unit. Within
the management arrangements, ICOMOS notes a need
for better cooperation and communication between the
various national, provincial and municipal authorities
involved in decision-making for the property. A
management plan is intended to be developed for the
property and its three key objectives have been identified.

8 Recommendations

Recommendations with respect to inscription


ICOMOS recommends that Age of Trade: The Old Town
of Jakarta (formerly Old Batavia) and 4 Outlying Islands
(Onrust, Kelor, Cipir and Bidadari), Indonesia, should not
be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

ICOMOS recommends paying close attention to current


investments and revitalization projects for 19th and
20th century architecture in Kotu Tua, as these projects
need to be guided by heritage conservation concerns in
order to preserve, in the long-term, the character of the
city.

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Map showing the boundaries of the nominated property
Stadhuis, former city hall

Wooden Warehouses
Technical Evaluation Mission
An ICOMOS technical evaluation mission visited the
Sassanid Archaeological Landscape property from 25 to 30 September 2017.
of Fars region
Additional information received by ICOMOS
(Islamic Republic of Iran) A letter was sent by ICOMOS to the State Party on
No 1568 28 September 2017 requesting further clarification and
additional information on the serial approach and serial
composition of the property, the protection status of the
buffer zones, disaster preparedness and risk management,
the composition and cooperation of the management
Official name as proposed by the State Party authority, and specifications on the monitoring system. A
Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region response was received from the State Party on
3 November 2017.
Location
Firuzabad, Kazerun and Sarvestan On 22 December 2017, ICOMOS sent an interim report to
Fars Province the State Party, which requested the State Party to
Islamic Republic of Iran refocus the context of justifying the Outstanding Universal
Value on the commencement and early expansion period
Brief description of the Sassanian Empire, to consequently withdraw the
This serial nomination proposes 8 selected archaeological Sarvestan Monument from the serial composition, and to
site components in three geographical area contexts at realign the boundaries of the remaining site components
Firuzabad, Bishapur and Sarvestan, all located in the to encompass the landscape features surrounding the
south-eastern Fars Province of Iran. These fortification archaeological testimonies. The State Party responded
structures, palaces, reliefs and city plans date back to the on 26 February 2018. All responses received throughout
earliest and latest moments of the Sassanian Empire, the evaluation process are incorporated into the relevant
which stretched across the region from 224 to 658 CE. The sections below.
sites include the founder of the dynasty, Ardashir
Papakan’s, military headquarters and first capital, a city and Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
architectural structures of his successor, the ruler Shapur I, 14 March 2018
as well as a monument testifying to the transition between
the Sassanid and Islamic eras constructed around the end
of the dynasty in the 7th and 8th century. 2 The property
Category of property Description
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in Article I The serial nomination of the Sassanid Archaeological
of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a serial Landscape of Fars region presents eight archaeological
property of 8 sites. sites in three geographical contexts of former Sassanian
cities. The overall area nominated encompasses
639 hectares which divide into 392 hectares in the five
1 Basic data Firuzabad components, 222 hectares in the two Bishapur
components and, finally, 25 hectares in the Sarvestan
Included in the Tentative List component.
The Firuzabad site components were included as an
individual archaeological site on 20 May 1997. The so- Firuzabad
called ensemble of Historical Sassanian Cities in Fars The Firuzabad group is located approximately 110 km
Province was included on 9 August 2007. south of Shiraz and contains 5 individual sites. These
comprise the Sassanid archaeological remains of the Tang-
International Assistance from the World Heritage i Ab valley, a valley of strategic importance, and include the
Fund for preparing the Nomination sites of Qaleh Dokhtar, the Ardashir Investiture Relief, the
None Victory Relief of Ardashir I, Ardashir Khurreh (the Middle-
Persian name of Firuzabad) and Ardashir Palace.
Date received by the World Heritage Centre
30 January 2017 Qaleh Dokhtar, at the northern entrance of the valley, was
selected as a stronghold by Ardashir Papakan (who
Background reigned 224-243 CE) when preparing his revolt against the
This is a new nomination. Parthian King. This site component presents the remains of
a large, 71 hectares, fortress, which included a
Consultations monumental palace, built by Ardashir before his victory
ICOMOS has consulted its International Scientific over the Parthians in 224 CE. The inner fortress was
Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management and developed as a palace-like residential unit, which was
several independents experts. surrounded by open spaces, auxiliary structures and the

101
outer fortification walls. The fortress is arranged over three arches were strengthened by pillars constructed into the
levels: a lower access level with an entrance hall, an arch during the middle Sassanian period. In ICOMOS’ view
intermediate terrace with vaulted halls, and the uppermost these pillars are repair measures intended to strengthen the
level, where the private rooms of the ruler’s family were arch, perhaps after a risk of or actual collapse of the arch.
located.
Bishapur
Less than one kilometre south of Qaleh Dokhtar on the right The remains of the key city created by Ardashir’s successor
bank of the valley lies the second serial component, the first Shapur I (reigned 243-273 CE), named Bishapur (the city
of several stone bas reliefs put up by Ardashir during his of Shapur), are located about 100 km west of Shiraz, 23km
reign. Its dimensions are 7 by 3.7 metres and it depicts north-west of the modern city of Kazerun. The ancient city
Ardashir’s investiture by Ohrmazd, the Zoroastrian creator was bounded by the Shapur River to the north and
God, who is standing behind and investing Ardashir by surrounded by a rampart and moat facing towards all other
handing the ring of sovereignty to him over a fire altar. In directions. The remains of the rectangular city with
the vicinity of the relief are the remains of a bridge, orthogonal streets and four gates cover an area of
described as “the best dated example of Sassanian 155 hectares. The settlement was surrounded by two walls;
masonry from the fifth century” and highlighted in the one which encircled the royal quarter in the west of the city
additional information submitted on 26 February 2018 in and a significant defensive rampart which encircled the
response to the ICOMOS interim report as the key entire settlement. All architectural structures were built
evidence of 5th century Sassanid architectural production in using stone, lime and gypsum mortar. Much of this
the property. However, this ruined bridge is not only in an Sassanian city has been built upon during the Islamic era
extremely poor state of conservation, it is also not currently so that very few areas have been excavated which testify
included in the property boundaries. to the Sassanid era. The key complex discovered in this
area was likely a fire temple with an impressive cupola
At the southern end of the Tang-i Ab valley, here forming a spanning more than 20 metres, likely the largest existing in
gorge, is the third site component, the rock carved bas relief the Sassanian Empire at the time.
of Ardashir’s victory. It depicts a scene of Ardashir’s victory
battle against the last Parthian king and measures Two fortresses, Qaleh Dokhtar and Qaleh Pesar were
18 metres long by 4 metres high. Leaving the gorge added to the defence system, overlooking the city on the
southwards onto the open plain, one finds the remains of nearby Shapur mountain ranges. In the narrow gorge of
Ardashir’s capital city, Ardashir Khurreh. This circular city Tang-e Chogan leading further eastwards, seven rock
was constructed in a previously swampy area created carved stone reliefs depicting different scenes and portraits
through water transfer from Tang-i Ab River. are included in the nominated property. The gorge
ultimately leads to Shapur’s Cave, the second site
At Ardashir Khurreh are the archaeological remains of a city component in the Bishapur group. This cave exhibits a
laid out in a perfect circle with a diameter of 1,950 m, 6.7 metres high statue of Shapur I carved out of a
divided into twenty equal sectors by means of a precise stalagmite formed in situ. It is sculpted in much detail
geometric system of twenty radials and several concentric illustrating the physiognomic features, garments and
streets. It was surrounded by a defensive wall, a 35 metres elaborate jewellery of the ruler.
wide ditch and another outer wall. This site component
covers the entire circular city and its defensive structures Sarvestan
amounting to 314 hectares. The administrative, ceremonial The third archaeological group consists of only one
and religious structures were located in the centre of the component, the eighth and last site component of this
city, surrounded by civil and residential structures in the nomination, Sarvestan monument. This monument was
outer circle. The ruins of Takht-i Neshin, a cuboid free- originally also considered to be early Sassanid. However,
stone building, stand at the very centre of the city. It is radio-carbon samples undertaken date it to the Late 7th,
thought to have been Ardashir’s fire temple. mid 8th and late 9th century respectively. This leads to the
conclusion that it illustrates transitional architecture at the
The circular city expanded beyond its walls into the wider end of the Sassanian and, more predominantly, beginning
setting. The radials, consisting of traces of canals, paths, of the Islamic era illustrating the continued use of Sassanid
walls, and field boundaries, continue up to 10 km distance inspired designs in the Islamic era. The site is placed in a
from the central tower. The serial component of Ardashir’s flat plain, 13km south of modern Sarvestan. It is locally
Palace is located on one of these axes two kilometres called Qasr-e Sassan (Sassan’s palace) or Chahar-taqi
north-west of the capital city. Built after Ardashir had fully (the square with four arches or short barrel vaults). It was
established his supremacy, the palace does not include long understood to be a palace structure of a late
significant defensive structures. It rather replicates and Sassanian ruler; however, contemporary research
improves the layout of the inner fortress of Qaleh Dokhtar. suggests that it may have been a fire temple which was still
The palace measures 55 by 18 metres and is built of rubble in use in the early Islamic era. Its architecture is
stone masonry with mortar, in the most representative characterized by a central domed hall, two columned
sections with internal plaster. It is characterized by several hallways, an internal courtyard and two ayvan.
arched and domed halls used as reception and residential
rooms. In the additional information submitted by the State
Party on 26 February 2018, it is highlighted that some

102
History and development larger archaeological landscape beyond the boundaries
The Sassanian Empire commenced in 224 CE with of the ancient settlements.
Ardashir Papakan’s victory over the Arsacid Royal House
of the then declining Parthian State. The Sassanian state Following on, individual prominent structures of the
was initially governed from the newly constructed capital of component sites are compared to structures of similar
Ardashir Khurreh. From there, Ardashir captured the city of typology, such as Qaleh Dokhtar to other fortresses, or
Ctesiphon, annexed parts of Roman Armenia and Ardashir Khurreh to other circular cities, predominantly
northwest Arabia and installed himself as the king of kings. non-Sassanid sites. Considered are the Aramaic city state
He also claimed the eastern Roman provinces and fought of Sam’al near modern-day Zincirli in southern Turkey,
several battles on the Western front against the Romans, which predates Ardashir Khurreh by a millennium but
conquering for example Hatra. shares its circular plan, and Hatra, a fortified city under
the influence of the Parthian Empire and capital of the first
Towards the end of his reign Ardashir made his oldest son Arab Kingdom, inscribed on the World Heritage List in
Shapur co-regent and when Ardashir retired in 240 CE, 1985 under criteria (ii), (iii), (iv) and (vi), which is
Shapur became his successor and sole ruler. From his compared for its similar centralized arrangement,
reign, archaeologists have identified several inscriptions, although not in a perfect circular shape. These are
among them one multilingual one in Greek, Parthian and followed by post-Sassanid cities, such as Darabgrid,
Middle Persian on the walls of the Kaaba-e Zardosht at the located 300km south-east of Shiraz, a circular settlement
archaeological site of Naqsh-e Rostam, which gives us of similar size to Ardashir Khurreh and likely inspired by
information on the exact extent of his territories. The it, as well as Baghdad, commissioned in 762 by the
remains at Naqsh-e Rostam, although located in the Fars Muslim Caliph al-Mansour. Comparisons are also
region, are not included in the serial nomination. He took presented for the fortress of Qaleh Dokhtar, the city of
over most of Roman Armenia and plundered several cities Bishapur, and Sarvestan.
in Syria and Cappadocia. He depicted his victories in a
number of rock reliefs at Darabgird, Bishapur, and Naqsh- ICOMOS notes that the methodology selected for the
e Rostam. comparative analysis is not assisting in identifying
exceptionality of the serial property. The two so-called
Following Shapur’s reign in the last quarter of the archaeological landscapes compared are not well known
3rd century, the Sassanian Empire lost its strength and most for landscape features and predate the nominated
of the former Roman provinces fell back under Roman property considerably. They therefore do not well
control. Almost four centuries of Sassanid rule, with its compare in terms of typology or timeframe. The remaining
cultural and organisational innovations and expansions, comparisons are focused on individual components rather
followed, which are scarcely represented by the proposed than the whole nominated property. ICOMOS notes the
property. Merely the very latest stage of the fall and lack of comparators from the Sassanid era, with the
transition of the Sassanian towards the Islamic Empire is exception of two Sassanid fortresses compared to Qaleh
said to be exhibited by the site component at Sarvestan. Dokhtar. ICOMOS further notes that the rock carved
This monument might have been constructed during the reliefs were not compared at all.
reign of Yazdegerd III (634 to 652 A.D.) which lasted twenty
years and saw the end of the Sassanian Empire with a In ICOMOS’ view several other significant sites, both in
successful attack by the Muslim Arabs expanding north- Iran and outside, could provide relevant representations
east. However, recent radio-carbon dating of the Site of the Sassanid Empire, none of which were included in
component suggest an even later construction date of the comparative analysis. These are, for example, the
significant architectural components of the structure, which archaeological sites of Naqsh-e Rustam and Naqsh-e
would date it after the Sassanid era. Rajab, Taq Kasra, a palace likely constructed by Shapur I,
and Gundeshapur, often referred to as the intellectual
centre of the Sassanid Empire. In particular, the first two,
3 Justification for inscription, integrity and Naqsh-e Rustam and Naqsh-e Rajab might be considered
authenticity to form an ensemble representing early key structures of
the Sassanid Empire and they have been included in the
Comparative analysis Tentative List of the Islamic Republic of Iran as witnesses
The comparative analysis is guided by two sequential to the early Sassanid era, containing architectural remains
methodological approaches. In the first step, the overall and 10 bas reliefs.
composition of the series is compared to two other so-
called archaeological landscapes. They are both ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis does not
predominantly pre-Sassanid in context: Pasargadae, the justify the selection of components of this serial nomination
first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, inscribed and does not consider adequately the other important
on the World Heritage List in 2004 under criteria (i), (ii), Sassanid sites in and beyond the Fars region. ICOMOS
(iii) and (iv), and Persepolis, the second capital of the does not consider that the proposed serial property
Achaemenid Empire, inscribed on the World Heritage List includes a relevant selection of sites to represent what
in 1979 under criteria (i), (iii) and (vi). These two World could be considered the archaeological landscape of the
Heritage properties inscribed as single archaeological Sassanid Empire.
sites are compared with regards to their ability to reflect a

103
However, based on additional research undertaken and the role as the cradle of the Sassanid Empire. To this end
expertise of its network of specialists, ICOMOS recognizes ICOMOS suggested to remove the Sarvestan Monument
that the serial components of Firuzabad and Bishapur from the serial composition as it does neither provide
include the most significant remaining testimony of the evidence of the significant early Sassanid era nor could it
earliest moments, that is the commencement under be said an exceptional representation of Sassanid
Ardashir and establishment of power under Ardashir and architecture more generally. In its response of
his successor Shapur I, of the Sassanid Empire. As such, 26 February 2018, the State Party highlighted that the
a nomination of these two archaeological contexts could be 8 components did provide evidence of various historic
considered as bearing potential to demonstrate moments of the Sassanid Empire, highlighting in
Outstanding Universal Value in relation to providing the particular the presence of the 5th century Mihr Narseh
most complete and dense archaeological and artistic Bridge in Firuzabad, which is not currently included in the
evidence of the emerging Sassanid Empire. However, the property boundaries, and later repair works at Ardashirs
current serial composition is not suitable to illustrate this Palace.
potential Outstanding Universal Value.
While ICOMOS acknowledges that some archaeological
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis does and architectural evidence points towards the habitation
not justify consideration of this serial property in its current and use of the sites past the initial establishment of the
composition for the World Heritage List. Sassanid Empire, ICOMOS considers that the capacity of
representing a property of potential Outstanding Universal
Value derives from the earliest evidences of Sassanid
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
reign, most specifically those features created under
The nominated property is considered by the State Party
Ardashir and Shapur I in the 3rd century CE.
to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural
property for the following reasons:
ICOMOS considers that this justification provided by the
State Party that the serial components illustrate “the
• The property which is presented as the Sassanid
continuity of the Outstanding Universal Value through the
Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region is identified
Sassanid period” is not appropriate because the serial
as the nucleus representing the most original
selection cannot convey a comprehensive representation
innovations which materialized during the Sassanid
of Sassanid architecture and town planning. ICOMOS
civilization in the fields of: land use, special settlement
considers that the focus on the Fars region is restrictive
pattern, urban planning, architecture and monumental
when aiming to represent an empire that stretched far
iconography;
beyond the boundaries of this central region in the
• This archaeological landscape contains a varied set
contemporary Islamic Republic of Iran.
of urban structures, castles, palaces, outstanding
monumental buildings, inscriptions and other relevant
The Fars region, however, was the locale in which the
relics forming and evolving under Sassanid rule over
Sassanid Empire established itself to its strength and
a span of 400 years;
power and as such several components of the series
• The serial components illustrate the starting point of
contain what can be considered the earliest great
Sassanid architecture and urban planning as well as
achievements of the Sassanid rulers. However, if the
its latest moments and transition towards Islamic rule
Sassanid era is to be considered in its entirety, significant
in the Sassanid territories.
other settlements and monuments were created outside
the region would need to be considered and included in
In its first request for additional information, ICOMOS
such a broader serial approach.
asked the State Party to clarify its rationale for the serial
composition of the property, which was not laid out in the
ICOMOS considers that it is conceptually impossible to
nomination dossier. The State Party responded on
represent an ancient empire, which lasted over four
3 November 2017 that the selection proposed
centuries and spread over a few thousand kilometres
demonstrates how “the Sassanid dynasty approached the
through three areas, which are rather constrained in the
establishment of towns in different environmental
timeframe and regional context they present. Such
contexts”, and constructed buildings with different
approach would provide the false impression that
functions over the centuries, “stressing a diachronic
Sassanid architecture and urban planning was entirely
perspective which from the early Sassanid period
homogenous over these vast territories and time span,
(Firuzabad) reaches into the late Sassanid and
which in ICOMOS’ view is not the case. This is also
subsequent early Islamic period (Sarvestan)”, as such
illustrated in the variety of other Sassanid sites, which are
showing the evolution of Sassanid architecture. These
currently included on the Iranian Tentative List.
according to the State Party’s view had to lie in the Fars
Region, described as the cradle of the Persian
The focus on the Fars Region further hinders the ability to
civilizations.
illustrate the interaction and cross-fertilization of Sassanid
architecture with remains of the Parthian Empire, Roman,
In its subsequent interim report, ICOMOS suggested to
Islamic and other influences. In the light of the above
the State Party to refocus the rationale and justification of
concerns, ICOMOS does not consider that the justification
Outstanding Universal Value on selected components’
of Outstanding Universal Value in the nomination dossier

104
can be supported. In consequence, ICOMOS does not determine the extent of archaeological remains as
consider that the current serial approach is justified. This opposed to areas near the city, which have been used for
does not mean however, that individual sites are not of agriculture since Sassanid times and should hence
value in terms of the way they reflect particular aspects of continue this function. In order to prevent extension of
the Sassanid Empire. On the contrary, ICOMOS considers farmlands into areas with potential archaeological
that some components of the series have strong potential evidence, these would then be taken into possession by
to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value. ICHHTO.

Integrity and authenticity As a result of a lack of conservation strategies and


activities in the past, some remains are very fragile and
Integrity scarce when compared with what must have existed
during their time of construction and use. This relates in
The State Party considers that given its concise legal
particular to the site components of Qaleh Dokhtar,
protection and appreciation by the rural communities, the
Ardashir Palace and Sarvestan, which are heavily
nominated property enjoys a high level of integrity. In terms
deteriorated. Also Bishapur city remained without any
of the serial composition, the State Party explains in the
consolidation after the archaeological mission left and
additional information provided at the request of ICOMOS
rapid processes of deterioration can be observed. The
on 3 November 2017, that the three archaeological areas
former excavation trenches and slopes remain open and
show the complete evolution of Sassanid architecture,
exposed to erosion with some vertical sections that have
ranging from the very beginning (Firuzabad) to a more
already started to collapse.
mature stage (Bishapur), until the very late and post-
Sassanid period (Sarvestan). Despite ICOMOS’ request to
Authenticity
reconsider this all-encompassing approach, the argument
is reiterated in the additional information submitted on In terms of authenticity, the site components differ
26 February 2018. considerably. Qaleh Dokhtar, Ardashir Palace and
Sarvestan, despite having been affected by past
In ICOMOS’ view, the composition of the series remains earthquakes and deteriorating heavily, can be considered
problematic. The property in its serial composition cannot authentic in form and design. However, the many and
be considered an exceptional or unique representation of repetitive restorations done on the structures at these sites,
the architectural and artistic production throughout the namely where wall revetments have been applied, include
Sassanid Empire. On the contrary, the sites gathered today a large percentage of new materials, namely plaster
merely present its very beginning and perhaps end but by and black cement, with new stones used for the facing of
no means an evolution over four centuries. ICOMOS also the walls. This situation, in ICOMOS’ view, directly affects
notes that the emphasis on the 5th century Mihr Narseh the authenticity of the monuments within the nominated
Bridge given in the additional information provided on property. The entrance of Ardashir Palace in Firuzabad has
26 February 2018 raises further concerns in terms of been completely reconstructed using concrete and stone
integrity, since the remains of the bridge are not currently facings.
within the property boundaries.
The rock reliefs of Ardashir and those of Tang-e Chogan
While the notion of an archaeological landscape seem to retain a largely authentic condition. Despite the
expressed in the interaction between the natural transformation of the land due to agricultural activities,
topography and the early Sassanid architectural and Ardashir Khurreh still preserves its authentic form and
artistic production seems important to the nomination, the design. Nevertheless, this is rather vulnerable as it could
current boundaries of the serial components are too change very quickly with adjunctions of parcels of land as
tightly drawn and do not include the landscape a result of inheritance or other division which would affect
surrounding the architectural and archaeological features. the shape of the plots and could eventually remove part of
the original design of the city. In general, the settings of
The nominated property does not suffer from negative most of the components still preserve their authentic
effects of development, except for two component sites: aspects as they were during the Sassanid period. The few
Ardashir Palace has been affected by the expansion of a exceptions include the new buildings related to agricultural
settlement to its east, which, however, seems now to be activities at Ardashir Khurreh, the Qa'emieh–Kazerun road
controlled by the protection zone set up; and Bishapur, to the east of Bishapur city, and the police station below the
which has been impacted by a road built half a century Bishapur Qaleh Dokhtar.
ago. In Ardashir Khurreh, agricultural activities are
affecting the buried archaeological remains and thus the In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the conditions of
integrity of the site. In addition, several site components integrity and authenticity have not been met at this stage
are affected by processes of serious decay and for the serial property, but that authenticity could be met
deterioration. for selected individual site components.

In relation to the agricultural practices, the State Party


committed in the additional information provided on
26 February 2018 to undertake surveys in order to fully

105
Criteria under which inscription is proposed considers that the justification for criterion (ii) is not
The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria appropriate.
(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v).
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
Criterion (i): represent a masterpiece of human creative justified.
genius;

This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional
that “the Sassanid archaeological landscape represents a testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is
masterpiece of human ingenuity due to its multiple living or which has disappeared;
innovations during the 3rd century of the first millennium
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
AD”. The most significant innovations include the
that the Sassanid archaeological landscape provides
invention of the chahar-taq architecture, a type of dome
evidence of cultural traditions in architectural and urban
squinch, which makes doming on a square-shaped space
planning knowledge, and legitimization of power, ritual
possible.
ceremonies and the hierarchy of power. Among these, the
most important is the construction of religious chahar-
ICOMOS confirms that chahar-taq is indeed an
taqs, which has had a direct correlation with the
architectural element invented in early Sassanian times,
expansion and stabilization of Zoroastrianism under
which has been referenced and utilized during later eras
Sassanid rule.
and in other cultural regions. However, ICOMOS also
considers that while the palace of Shapur I contains a
ICOMOS considers that the justification provided in
significant number of chahar-taq, some of these have
reference to the Sassanid architectural and urban
been affected by restoration measures which have limited
planning being considered a cultural tradition is not
their material authenticity. ICOMOS notes that a number
appropriate. However, ICOMOS considers that it might be
of other early Sassanid sites contain other examples of
more appropriate to discuss whether the nominated
chahar-taq, which have not been considered in the
property could feature as an exceptional testimony of the
comparative analysis. ICOMOS considers that this
Sassanid Civilization, also considering its contribution to
criterion cannot be applied to the serial nomination
the development and stabilization of Zoroastrianism.
suggested, as only two of the overall eight components
ICOMOS notes that some serial components may have
can make a potentially relevant contribution to this
potential to represent important moments, achievements
criterion.
and developments which indeed characterize the
architectural and urban development under the very early
While the State Party argued that the contribution of the
reign of the Sassanids. However, it cannot be said that all
other monuments and urban structures to the magnificent
property components equally represent such potential, in
surrounding landscape would also merit recognition under
particular in reflecting their capacity to present integrity
this criterion, ICOMOS considers that this would not be an
and authenticity in terms of this criterion.
adequate justification for the application of criterion (i).

ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been


ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
justified for the proposed series.
justified.

Criterion (iv): be an outstanding example of a type of


Criterion (ii): exhibit an important interchange of human
building, architectural or technological ensemble or
values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the
landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in
world, on developments in architecture or technology,
human history;
monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
that “the propagation of the dome on squinches above a
that the Sassanid archaeological landscape was
square hall may be regarded as the most significant
influenced by the Achaemenid and Parthian cultural and
Sassanid landscape contribution to Middle-Eastern
ritual traditions as well as their architectural and artistic
architecture.” It is further explained that this development
approaches and cultural interchange with Roman art,
of Sassanid chahar-taq took place in the ruins of Takht-i
contemporaneous with it, had a significant impact on
Nishin in the city of Ardashir Khurreh.
urban planning, architecture and artistic approaches of
the Islamic era.
ICOMOS considers that chahar-taq domes within the
serial property can also be found in Qaleh Dokhtar of
ICOMOS considers that the sites selected illustrate little
Firuzabad, in Ardashir Palace and, only partly preserved,
to no interaction with other earlier, such as Achaemanid
in the monument at Sarvestan, yet with varying degrees
and Parthian, cultural influences, the contemporary
of authenticity. However, it has not been demonstrated in
Roman, and later the Islamic era, except perhaps the
what way these domes can be said outstanding as
latter for Sarvestan Monument, which is partly
required for the application of this criterion. ICOMOS
constructed in post Sassanid times. ICOMOS therefore
considers in addition that the serial property presented

106
cannot as a whole contribute to this criterion as domes 4 Factors affecting the property
are features only in some serial components.
The nominated property faces very few threats of urban or
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been infrastructure development, which are currently limited to
justified. Ardashir’s Palace, located in the vicinity of a village which
has expanded in recent years, and the Kazerun-Qa’emieh
Criterion (v): be an outstanding example of a traditional road which was constructed between the Qaleh Dokhtar
human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is and Bishapur city several decades ago. Tourism pressures
representative of a culture (or cultures), or human are also extremely limited although, given the state of
interaction with the environment especially when it has conservation of the sites, appropriate visitor behaviour is
become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible essential to prevent further dilapidation.
change;
Wind as well as water erosion, as a result of both rainfall
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds and surface water, is a serious risk for at least four property
that “the Sassanid archaeological landscape represents a components; Qaleh Dokhtar, Ardashir Palace, Bishapur
perfect example of an efficient system of land use and and Sarvestan. The site managers’ acknowledge this
exploitation of natural topography as well as creation of a significant risk and aim to reduce it by means of sacrificial
cultural landscape in the Sassanid civilization.” This layers, which are to be applied to the top of the walls and
landscape is said to be supported by use of indigenous the floor surfaces. However, the surfaces which are at risk
construction materials and “based on optimal exploitation are very large and the sacrificial layers need to be applied
of earth topography”. in a way that respects the authenticity of the property. This
sacrificial layer is made of Kah-gel, a clay and chaff mixture,
ICOMOS considers that it has not been demonstrated in prepared on site and spread on the exposed surfaces.
which way the serial property of eight components While this indeed protects against rain-water erosion, it
presents an exceptional landscape which illustrates creates a new risk of retained humidity when applied to
specific aspects of land-use or traditional settlements as larger areas such as entire floors. Risks of surface water
required by this criterion. The fact that defensive are observed only in Sarvestan, which lies in a depression
fortresses are placed on hills or cities fortified against in which water collects from the surroundings. The result is
rivers, etc., does not seem exceptional and is shared by capillary humidity migration into the walls causing damage
numerous other historic sites. and detachment of stones, thus also affecting the structural
stability of the monument.
While some site components of this proposed property
could be seen as exceptional in their interaction between Vegetation growth is a significant risk at several site
the natural topography and the early Sassanid components, such as Qaleh Dokhtar, Ardashir and Tang-e
architectural and artistic production, unfortunately at Chogan Reliefs at Firuzabad and the Qaleh Dokhtar of
present the natural topography, which would be an Bishapur, and is affecting the stability of these structures.
essential attribute to such concept, is not encompassed Another risk observed is pigeon and bat droppings at the
in the property boundaries. For the above reasons, serial sites of Ardashir Palace, the Shapur Cave and
ICOMOS considers it not possible to apply this criterion Sarvestan. Here, pigeons are present in considerable
for the current composition of the serial property. numbers and use parts of the monuments as their nesting
grounds. Moreover, in Shapur Cave bats occupy cavities
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been where sunlight does not reach, and their droppings are
justified for the proposed series. everywhere in the cave including the statue of Shapur I. In
Ardashir Khurreh, impacts of informal human occupation,
ICOMOS considers that a serial approach could in particular at night, have been noted.
potentially be justified to represent specific architectural
or urban typologies or exceptional testimonies of the early Agricultural activities inside the site component of Ardashir
Sassanid Empire situated in a unique topographical Khurreh pose a significant risk. Deep ploughing is likely to
landscape but ICOMOS considers that the current series affect archaeological remains but also the roots of planted
as well as the selection of sites is not appropriate. trees and shrubs can have destructive effects on buried
remains. Often the agricultural activities require vehicular or
animal movements on the fields, creating pressure and
In conclusion, ICOMOS does not consider that any of the vibrations on underground archaeological remains. In its
criteria have been justified and does not consider that the additional information provided, the State Party envisages
series proposed meets the conditions of integrity and surveys to ensure the absence of underground
authenticity at this stage. archaeological structures in agricultural areas or otherwise
protect these from agricultural practices.

The nominated property is located in a highly earthquake


prone region and experienced significant damage from
earthquakes in 1970 and 1994. In its request for additional
information, ICOMOS inquired as to the preventive

107
measures undertaken as well as risk preparedness and importance to the location of cities. However, ICOMOS
disaster management plans already in place. The State notes that these very landscape features are not presently
Party reported in the additional information submitted on 3 located within the property and hence are not able to
November 2017 that when looking at the issues with a contribute to the attributes of the proposed Outstanding
Swiss-French proposal for preventive stabilization, they Universal Value. ICOMOS considers that the buffer zones
resorted to traditional local building techniques in stabilizing are the delimitated areas which indeed contain the
vertical structures which might be affected, to increase their landscape features of this nomination and which would
resilience to seismic movements. ICOMOS further allow the nominated property to feature as an
observed two concrete protective measures implemented archaeological landscape. ICOMOS concludes that
at Qaleh Dokhtar, a terraced reinforcement for the outside accordingly the boundaries are not adequate to reflect an
vertical walls as well as a system of wires stabilizing the archaeological landscape as intended by the State Party.
upper levels, in particular to support the dome. In Bishapur,
a numbering system has been applied to the stones of the ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the nominated
Anahita Temple, aimed at ensuring that stones are property are too narrowly drawn to reflect the notion of an
identifiable in case the monument collapses, which would archaeological landscape and that the buffer zones are
enable a post-disaster reconstruction. adequate to surround the current serial sites proposed but
would also need to be enlarged if the larger setting was
ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property included in the property to reflect the archaeological
are its decay and deterioration advanced by wind and landscape.
water erosion, agricultural use and vegetation growth, as
well as the high seismic risk in the area combined with a Ownership
lack of adequate risk preparedness and disaster response Seven out of the eight site components are owned by the
planning. government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and
administered by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts
and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO). Only parts of the
5 Protection, conservation and Ardashir Khurreh component are currently in private
management ownership, which creates pressures in terms of their
agricultural use.
Boundaries of the nominated property
and buffer zone Protection
The boundaries of the eight serial components encompass Cultural heritage has an essential place in the constitution
a total area of 639 hectares. Several serial components in of the Islamic Republic of Iran as Article 83 of the
each of the three geographical areas are combined in a Constitution Law (1920) recognizes its importance.
shared buffer zone, with an overall buffer zone of Ownership transfer of public monuments and properties
12,715 hectares presented in the nomination dossier. In considered to be part of the national heritage is forbidden,
two of the three geographical areas, Firuzabad and unless approved by the Parliament. The individual site
Sarvestan, the buffer zone is further surrounded by a components were listed rather early on as monuments and
landscape zone, covering about 48,500 hectares. The archaeological sites at the national level, such as Qaleh
boundaries and buffer zones are marked in situ by red and Dokhtar, number 269 in 1315 A.H (1936 CE), Ardashir
blue cylindrical post markers. Palace, number 89 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE), Ardashir
Khurreh, number 17 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE), Sassanid
ICOMOS observes that the boundaries encompass all Atashkadeh (fire temple) of Ardashir Khurreh, number 289
identified archaeological remains, with perhaps the in 1316 A.H, (1937 CE), the historic city of Bishapur,
exception of the 5th century Mihr Narseh bridge foundation number 24 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE), and Sarvestan
near the bas relief of Ardashir’s investment (component 2). monument, number 23 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE).
However, in the additional information provided by the State
Party on 3 November in response to ICOMOS’ request, the With the context of these designations, the State Party
State Party highlighted that the serial components were developed specific regulations, not only for the property
selected to illustrate the important relationship between the areas but also for the buffer zones and, where existing,
archaeological remains and the specific surrounding landscape zones. These are relevant and effective with one
landscape, in both cases of Firuzabad and Bishapur being single exception, the site component of Ardashir Khurreh.
marked by the transition of a mountain range towards an Here, the regulation specified for the property in its
open plain and in the vicinity of a narrow mountain range regulation 5 allows for the continuation of agriculture on
passage in the form of a gorge. private properties, merely forbidding its expansion.
ICOMOS considers that these continuing agricultural
ICOMOS notes that the relationship between the activities have a strong potential to damage underground
archaeological elements and the landscape is indeed archaeological remains within these farmlands and need to
striking and at times is a prerequisite for the historic be reconsidered. In its additional information provided on
remains, for example the vertical gorge walls which allowed 26 February 2018, the State Party committed to surveys
the production of rock-cut bas reliefs or the mountain aimed at identifying underground archaeological remains in
ranges with narrow passages which gave strategic agricultural areas to prevent future negative impacts.
Problematic in this site component is also a factory in the

108
buffer zone, located in immediate proximity to the property, observed at all rock-carved reliefs in the nominated
which contradicts the buffer zone regulations. ICOMOS property.
recommends that the State Party may wish to consider
relocating this factory to a more appropriate location. In Sarvestan significant damage arises from capillary
humidity migration into the walls. In addition, structural
In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the legal protection problems lead to instabilities, such as masonry cracks
regulations in place are largely adequate and should be which jeopardize the structural stability of the monument. In
consistently applied. ICOMOS considers, however, that all components, CCTV cameras are fixed directly onto the
within the property boundaries of Ardashir Khurreh historic structures in inappropriate ways.
agricultural practices should be permitted only in areas
which by means of the envisaged surveys have proven The State Party has addressed the above identified
free of underground archaeological remains. conservation issues, including the repointing of remaining
stones to the exposed cores of the walls, construction of
terraced bases to stabilize walls, covering of wall and floor
Conservation
surfaces with sacrificial layers, and regular removal of
The site components are documented through
vegetation growth. In addition, some of the exposed
photographic recordings, often conducted in the course of
verticals in excavated sections have been stabilized by
previous conservation works, and lately a 3D scanning
different sacrificial layers and one excavation section in
initiative of several structures. Several studies have been
Ardashir Khurreh has been covered by a temporary roof.
undertaken into the material composition and construction
In winter time, some architectural structures are covered
techniques of individual components, which were published
with plastic sheets to avoid immediate rain penetration.
in the form of administrative reports. In addition, a MoU was
Reconstructions are at times extensive, in particular at
signed with the Italian National Research Council and
Ardashir’s Palace, where walls and the vaulted entrance
Bologna University to conduct further research initiatives.
were reconstructed with partial use of historic materials
found on site.
The current state of conservation differs considerably
between the different site components. The most
In ICOMOS’ view, the overall state of conservation is
concerning conditions can be observed at Qaleh Dokhtar,
rather critical. A programmed conservation approach
where most of the core structures are exposed due to the
which avoids reconstructions is needed to ensure the
loss of surface stones. Previous restorations to ensure
long-term preservation of the property. It is indicative that
stability brought in concrete and black cement, and
within the context of the management approaches
vegetation growth in the exposed parts of the walls and
described for the nominated property such a structured
their cores, that are not repointed or protected, is
approach is envisaged. It is therefore important to adhere
jeopardizing their structural stability. Past works were not
to this aim in close cooperation with qualified conservation
always carried out under adequate supervision. For
specialists and integrate a conservation plan within the
example, at the level of the second floor open courtyard, a
envisaged management plan.
section between two buttress walls was recently removed
by the restoration team in order to clear the space in the
second floor. This rubble removal should in fact have been In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the state of
a properly documented excavation and undertaken by conservation of the property is critical, with some
archaeologists. In addition, the clearing left a void between elements at immediate risk of collapse. The anticipated
the two walls with a friable section, which could collapse at coordinated approach to conservation described needs to
any time putting the third floor level and its dome structure be laid out in a conservation plan and implemented
in immediate danger. immediately and consistently to ensure the long-term
preservation of the property.
In Ardashir Khurreh, ICOMOS observes several
conservation issues for underground archaeological Management
remains, such as on the roads used to access the site –
which are historic access routes full of visible Management structures and processes,
archaeological remains, but also used for agricultural including traditional management processes
activities as described above. In Ardashir’s Palace one
The Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism
finds a synthesis of reconstructions (such as the entrance
Organization (ICHHTO) is responsible for the conservation
hall) and decayed wall structures in need of consolidation.
and management of the nominated property. The property
is administered by a structure established for the purpose
In Bishapur, several conservation issues emerged with the
of its management, which is referred to as SALF Base
completion of archaeological excavations. Some
(Sassanid Archaeological Landscape in the Fars Region
excavated walls, in particular in the eastern section of the
Base). The Base reports to both the Deputy Director of
site, were left exposed to weathering and erosion. These
Tourism and the Deputy Director for Cultural Heritage
are at present rather fragile with some sections at
Conservation in ICHHTO but is coordinated primarily
immediate risk of collapse. As described above, bird and
through the Cultural Heritage Conservation department.
bat droppings are impacting the historic surfaces at several
The Base is advised and guided by a Steering and a
sites, most significantly in Shapur’s Cave where the statue
Technical Committee.
of Shapur is heavily affected. Similar situations can be

109
Whilst the Base manages the overall serial nominated In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the management
property, two teams have been divided to the Firuzabad team has adequate personnel resources and is aware of
and Bishapur components with officers locally responsible the key challenges the property faces. However, ICOMOS
for day-to-day supervision and monitoring. Each area team considers that these challenges need to be addressed by
is composed of approximately 12 permanent staff. The a comprehensive conservation and management plan,
teams are supported by security officers controlling access which guides coordinated action in the property. This
and visitor behaviour through a dense network of CCTV management plan should also include dedicated sections
cameras installed on site. of risk preparedness and disaster response.

Risk preparedness or disaster response plans are not


available despite a high risk of seismic activity and, in some
6 Monitoring
components, risks of fire. ICOMOS recommends preparing
adequate risk preparedness and disaster response plans
Monitoring activities are divided into two levels, technical
and to consider in this context detailed 3D scanning
supervision of measures undertaken, and daily inspections
surveys of all components based on a rigorous geodetic
regarding the state of conservation of monuments. For the
network surveyed, prior to the scan which would generate
first level, indicators are identified during the planning of
adequate documentation providing clues as to the location
conservation activities and selection of methodologies. The
and structure of components in case of a disaster.
day-to-day state of conservation monitoring is based on a
number of indicators presented in the nomination dossier,
Policy framework: management plans and
including, among others, erosion levels of materials,
arrangements, including visitor management
condition and size of cracks, moisture levels in floors and
and presentation
walls, and documentation of visitor numbers as well as
Within the nomination dossier, the State Party presented its training activities.
anticipated management plan by means of a preview of key
objectives and approximate fields of action to be ICOMOS considers that whilst the State Party has identified
implemented in the short-, medium- and long-term. These critical indicators, which need to be observed in order to
are previewing to address a number of key issues but need assess the state of conservation, the monitoring system
to be detailed within an integrated management and does not seem to fully facilitate this. Whilst within the
conservation plan for the property. Following its completion, presentation of indicators relevant areas are identified, they
the management plan should be officially adopted at the are not currently integrated within a monitoring system,
national level. which outlines responsibilities and means of assessment
and documentation. Previous monitoring exercises have
For the presentation of the property’s significance, displays not been undertaken and an arrangement that could be
have been designed at all components. Explanatory panels considered a monitoring system is yet to be established.
include brief information about the individual monuments ICOMOS therefore recommends including the
and specific attributes as well as a location map and, at establishment of a monitoring system into the objectives of
times, drawings or sketches illustrating constructional the envisaged management plan.
details or ground plans. However, ICOMOS noted that
these panels seemed of a temporary nature and were not Whilst site authorities have identified several key
fixed on proper foundations. As a result, they could easily indicators to be monitored, a monitoring system is yet to
be moved or displaced. Information kiosks with rest places be set up based on assigned responsibilities and agreed
have recently been added at Bishapur and Qaleh Dokhtar upon means of assessment and documentation.
but no other visitor infrastructure exists within the vicinity of
the nominated property. Guidebooks and a small museum
in Bishapur are other means of disseminating information.
7 Conclusions
Involvement of the local communities
The Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region is
It appears that there is not a strong involvement of the local presented in 8 selected archaeological site components
communities in this nomination initiative. ICOMOS located within three geographical contexts at Firuzabad,
therefore recommends integrating local communities more Bishapur and Sarvestan, all located in the south-eastern
closely in management initiatives, in particular in locations Fars Province of Iran. This series of fortification structures,
where community interests, such as agriculture, could pose palaces, reliefs and city plans dates back to the earliest and
risks to the preservation of the nominated property. possibly latest moments of the Sassanian Empire, which
stretched across thousands of kilometres from 224 to
658 CE. The property is presented by the State Party as
the nucleus representing the most original innovations
which materialized during the Sassanid civilization and as
an archaeological landscape which contains outstanding
monumental buildings, inscriptions and other relevant relics
forming and evolving under Sassanid rule over a span of
400 years.

110
In ICOMOS’ view this justification is problematic, as the Such landscape would have potential to demonstrate
serial site components testify only to architectural and criteria (iii) and (v) as a testimony of the early
artistic creations of the very beginning and the very end of establishment of the Sassanid Empire within the
the Sassanid Empire. To illustrate the 400 years span of landscape, which enabled its strategic location and
Sassanid presence in the wider geographical region, other architectural and artistic creation.
sites outside the Fars Province would be better suited and
more representative. With view towards the end of the ICOMOS is concerned about the poor condition of some
Sassanid Empire, ICOMOS further notes that Sarvestan component sites as well as risks of further dilapidation and
Monument, said to represent this phase, has been dated even collapse at selected components. A programmed
into the 7th, 8th and 9th century respectively by radio-carbon conservation approach which avoids extensive
dating and hence dates also into the subsequent Islamic reconstructions is needed to ensure the long-term
era. preservation of the property. Such a structured approach
is envisaged within the overall management aims. It is
Nevertheless, ICOMOS acknowledges that a number of therefore important to adhere to this aim in close
site components within this series have strong potential to cooperation with qualified conservation specialists and
demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value. ICOMOS integrate a conservation plan within the envisaged
recognizes that the serial components at Firuzabad and management plan. Specific geophysical surveys are
Bishapur include the most significant remaining testimony envisaged at the Ardashir Khurreh component to prevent
of the earliest moments, the commencement under the possible destruction of underground archaeological
Ardashir I and establishment of power under Ardashir I and remains through agricultural practices.
his successor Shapur I, of the Sassanid Empire. As such,
a refocused nomination including only these two The State Party presented its anticipated management plan
archaeological contexts could be considered as having by means of a preview of key objectives and approximate
potential to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value in fields of action to be implemented in the short-, medium-
relation to providing the most complete and dense and long-term. These preview to address key issues but
archaeological and artistic evidence of the emerging need to be detailed within an integrated management and
Sassanid Empire. However, the current serial composition conservation plan for the property. This management plan
is not suitable to illustrate this potential Outstanding should also pay special attention to risk preparedness and
Universal Value. ICOMOS regrets that the State Party did disaster response planning and establish a systematic
not follow its suggestion to withdraw component 8, approach to site monitoring. Following its completion, the
Sarvestan Monument, from the serial composition to allow management plan should be officially adopted at the
for a thematic focus on the early Sassanid Era. national level.

ICOMOS further notes that the property has been proposed


as an archaeological landscape and acknowledges that the 8 Recommendations
interaction between the natural topography and the early
Sassanid architectural and artistic production is important Recommendations with respect to inscription
to the understanding of its strategic location for the first ICOMOS regrets that the State Party did not follow the
Sassanid capital. The current boundaries of the serial suggestions made in the Interim report.
components however are too tightly drawn and do not
include the landscape surrounding the architectural and ICOMOS recommends that the examination of the
archaeological features. In ICOMOS’ view the interaction nomination of the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of
of both natural topography and early Sassanid Fars Region, Islamic Republic of Iran, to the World
architectural and artistic response constitutes a potential Heritage List be deferred in order to allow the State Party,
attribute of Outstanding Universal Value, and it is hence with the advice of ICOMOS and the World Heritage
essential that the natural topography becomes part of the Centre, if requested, to:
property.
a) Refocus the justification of Outstanding Universal
In result, for the serial selection and the boundaries Value on the exceptional testimony the property
currently presented, ICOMOS cannot confirm that any of provides in relation to the commencement and early
the criteria has been demonstrated. ICOMOS considers expansion of the Sassanid empire under Ardashir I
that while authenticity could be met by individual sites, and Shapur I (224 – 273 CE),
authenticity and integrity cannot be said demonstrated in
the context of the present series. b) Remove the serial site component of Sarvestan
Monument from the serial nomination,
However, a series reduced to 7 of 8 components (exluding
Sarvestan Monument) presented with enlarged c) Adjust the boundaries of the remaining components,
boundaries, combining the five serial components in the aimed at combining the five serial components of
Firuzabad area within one shared boundary as well as Firuzabad and the two serial components of
combining the two serial components in Bishapur to Bishapur into one site component boundary for each,
become a second site component, could be considered encompassing the previously separated
as presenting an exceptional archaeological landscape. archaeological features and the topographic

111
landscape features between them, which constitute
essential attributes of the potential Outstanding
Universal Value,

d) Finalize an integrated conservation and


management plan for the property, including
strategies on risk preparedness and disaster
response,

e) As part of the overall conservation and management


plan, prioritize immediate conservation activities at
all serial components which are at risk of collapse or
in a condition of serious deterioration;

Any revised nomination should be visited by a mission to


the sites.

Additional recommendations
ICOMOS recommends that the State Party give
consideration to the following:

f) Prioritizing the geophysical surveys envisaged for


the site component of Ardashir Khurreh to restrict the
permissibility of agricultural practices to areas which
are ascertained to be free of archaeological remains,

g) Establishing a monitoring system based on assigned


responsibilities and defined means of assessment
and verification;

112
Maps showing the boundaries of the nominated properties
Ardashir Palace

Ardashir Palace, main ayvan


February to June 2016, through an Advisory mission, for
the reconfiguration of the nomination.
Hidden Christian Sites in the
Nagasaki Region On 1 February 2017, the State Party submitted a
substantially re-scoped nomination that is the object of the
(Japan) present evaluation.
No 1495
Consultations
ICOMOS has consulted its International Scientific
Committee on Shared Built Heritage and several
independent experts.
Official name as proposed by the State Party
Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region Technical Evaluation Mission
An ICOMOS technical evaluation mission visited the
Location property from 3 to 14 September 2017.
Nagasaki Prefecture
Kumamoto Prefecture Additional information received by ICOMOS
Japan On 30 August 2017, the State Party sent additional
information to ICOMOS providing background information
Brief description on the revised nomination. The additional information
Located in the Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures in the received is integrated into the relevant sections below.
north-western part of Kyushu Island of the Japanese
Archipelago, the 12 components of this serial nomination An Interim report was sent to the State Party by ICOMOS
encompass 10 villages, Hara Castle, and one cathedral on 22 December 2017. The State Party provided additional
dating from between the 17th and 19th centuries. Together information referring to the boundaries and buffer zone of
they reflect the earliest activities of Christian missionaries the property, protection, conservation and management of
and settlers in Japan, including the earliest phase of the the property. The State Party responded on
encounter, a subsequent era of prohibition and persecution 28 February 2018 and the additional information provided
of the Christian faith and settlers, as well as the final phase is integrated into the relevant sections of this report.
of the revitalization of Christian communities after the
official lifting of the prohibition. These sites bear testimony Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
to the unique cultural tradition nurtured by Hidden 14 March 2018
Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly practised
their faith despite a ban on Christianity.
2 The property
Category of property
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in Article I Description
of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a serial Located in the Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures in the
nomination of 12 components, which include 11 sites and 1 north-western part of Kyushu Island of the Japanese
monument. Archipelago, the serial nomination consists of
12 component sites, made up of ten villages, one castle,
and one cathedral dating from between the 17th and
1 Basic data 19th centuries. Together they reflect the earliest activities of
Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan, including the
Included in the Tentative List earliest phase of the encounter, a subsequent era of
30 January 2007 prohibition and persecution of the Christian faith and
settlers, as well as the final phase of the revitalization of
International Assistance from the World Heritage Christian communities after the official lifting of the
Fund for preparing the Nomination prohibition in 1873.
None
The 12 serial sites comprise an overall area of 5,569.34 ha
Date received by the World Heritage Centre and are surrounded by buffer zones with a total area of
1 February 2017 12,152.43 ha. These 12 components are categorized into
four stages, mainly demonstrating each historic stage of the
Background distinctive cultural tradition of Hidden Christians and will be
In January 2015, the nomination “Churches and Christian presented according to these four categories. Stage one:
Sites in Nagasaki” was submitted to the World Heritage the event that triggered the ban on Christianity and the
Centre by the State Party of Japan. On 9 February 2016, subsequent formation of the Hidden Christians’ religious
during the ICOMOS Evaluation Process, the State Party tradition, illustrated by one component (001). Stage two: the
decided to withdraw the nomination. At the request of the development of the Hidden Christians’ religious tradition in
State Party, ICOMOS provided it with assistance from different ways, illustrated by five components (002, 003,
004, 005 and 006). Stage three: the migration strategies

113
that the Hidden Christians used to maintain their religious graveyards, the magistrate’s office that controlled the
communities, illustrated by four components (007, 008, 009 village during the ban on Christianity, the beach on which
and 010). Stage four: the event that triggered the new Catholic missionaries landed after the ‘Discovery of Hidden
phase and the transition, and the ultimate end of the Christians’, and the church that was constructed after the
religious tradition, illustrated by two components (011 and lifting of the ban in 1882, with extensions and structural
012). additions added in 1891 and 1909.

The Remains of Hara Castle (001), are located in the Ono Village in Sotome (006) is located on a steep hill facing
southern part of the Shimabara Peninsula, in the the East China Sea, on the western coast of the
southeastern area of the Nagasaki Prefecture Nishisonogi Peninsula. It comprises several shrines where
(Minamishimabara City). It comprises an area of 48.48 ha Hidden Christians outwardly worshipped in order to hide
and was constructed between 1598 and 1604. The castle their inner faith and where they secretly enshrined objects
remains dominate a hill and cliff, which overlook the sea, for worship; Hidden Christians’ graveyards; and the church
and is included as the place where more than twenty that was built after the lifting of the ban in 1893 for the use
thousand peasants of the Arima domain and Amakusa of 26 Catholic households who could not visit Shitsu. In Ono
Island were besieged during the Shimabara-Amakusa Village, the Hidden Christians outwardly behaved as
Rebellion in the early period of the nationwide ban on Buddhists and Shinto followers and venerated Shinto
Christianity. Archaeological excavations at the site have shrines commonly seen in conventional Japanese villages
uncovered finds of human bones but also devotional items, at that time. However, they secretly enshrined their own
including crucifixes and medals, which have been deities in the shrines and shared these places of worship
interpreted as indicating that the besieged had maintained with Shinto practitioners.
their Christian faith even after the ban on the religion was
enforced in 1614. Villages on Kuroshima Island (007). Kuroshima Island, with
a circumference of almost 12 km, is located to the west of
Kasuga Village and Sacred Places in Hirado (002 and 003), the north-western part of Kyushu Island. On this island,
are located on the western coast of Hirado Island. In there remain the former pastures that were cultivated by the
Kasuga Village, there are remains of Catholic graves on Hidden Christian migrants from Sotome; the Buddhist
Maruoyama Hill dating back to the period of the initial temple where the Hidden Christians secretly venerated a
introduction of Christianity to Japan in 1550, and houses in Buddhist statue as the Virgin Mary (Maria Kannon); the
which devotional tools have been secretly kept since that sites of the houses of Hidden Christian leaders as well as
period. In Kasuga Village and Sacred Places in Hirado, the their communities’ graveyards; the site of the magistrate’s
local communities venerated natural sites as sacred office where the Efumi ceremony took place; and the site of
places, such as Mt. Yasumandake (situated to the east of the church that was built after the lifting of the ban between
Kasuga Village) that had been regarded as sacred by the 1880 and 1902.
pre-existing religious communities (Buddhists and Shinto
practitioners) long before the introduction of Christianity to Remains of Villages on Nozaki Island (008). Nozaki Island
Japan. Components 002 and 003 also include is a long narrow island, extending 6 km from north to south
Nakaenoshima Island, where a group of Japanese and 1.5 km east to west, located in the northern part of the
Catholics were martyred during the early period of the ban. Goto Islands territory. The island includes the Okinokojima
Shrine with which the Hidden Christians were outwardly
Sakitsu Village in Amakusa (004), established in the affiliated in order to hide their secret faith; the residence of
15th century, is a fishing village located in the western part the Shinto priests who managed the shrine; farmland with
of Amakusa Shimoshima Island. Here the Hidden stone retaining walls; and the Nokubi Church and the site
Christians concealed their faith by substituting everyday of the Setowaki Church which were constructed after the
items that were used in their livelihoods for Christian lifting of the ban. The Hidden Christians on Nozaki Island
devotional tools during the ban on Christianity. This rejoined the Catholic Church after the lifting of the ban on
component contains the site of the house of Mizukata, in Christianity and constructed the Setowaki Church in 1881
which Hidden Christians’ devotional tools, such as statues (in Funamori Village) and Nokubi Church in 1882 (Nokubi
of the Japanese traditional deities Daikokuten and Ebisu Village).
which were venerated as Deus, the God of the Christian
faith, have been kept right up to the present day; the Sakitsu Villages on Kashiragashima Island (009). Kashiragashima
Suwa Shrine where Hidden Christians secretly offered the Island is a small island located in the northern part of the
Oratio prayer; the site of the house of the village headmen Goto Islands. The component comprises the remains of a
from the Yoshida family, in which the Efumi ceremony took graveyard bearing testimony to the Hidden Christians’
place; and the site of the Former Sakitsu Church built in migration to an island which had been a smallpox
1888 after the Hidden Christians rejoined the Catholic quarantine station; the grave of the Buddhist who directed
Church following the lifting of the ban on Christianity. the migration and cultivation of the island; and the sites of
the temporary church constructed there as well as the
Shitsu Village in Sotome (005), is located in the Sotome Kashiragashima Church, built after the end of the ban in
area on the western coast of the Nishisonogi Peninsula. It 1887 and used until 1914.
comprises several houses in which Hidden Christians’
secret icons were kept, several Hidden Christian

114
Villages on Hisaka Island (010). Hisaka Island is In 1614, the Shogunate issued a nationwide ban on
horseshoe-shaped and located in the southern part of the Christianity and Christian ritual practice. Severe inquisitions
Goto Islands. This island still retains rice paddies that were and persecutions were carried out, which forced the
once cultivated by the Hidden Christians who migrated remaining Christian communities into hiding. In 1637 the
there under an agreement between the feudal lords; the site hidden Christians of Arima and Amakusa started a rebellion
of the Rokuroba that bears witness to their co-operative triggered by over-taxation and famine. This had a profound
relationship with Buddhist fishing communities; Hidden effect on the Shogunate, which prohibited the arrival of
Christian graveyards; places where persecution occurred Portuguese ships and broke off all relations with the
after the ‘Discovery of the Hidden Christians’ at Oura Portuguese. Seventy-five missionaries were publicly
Cathedral in 1865; and the sites of churches that were built executed and more than one thousand Christians lost their
after the lifting of the ban: Hamawaki Church in 1881, Eiri lives during intense persecutions between 1617 and 1644.
Church in 1918, Zazare Church in 1921, and Akanita Christian communities were forced to convert to Buddhism
Church in 1926. and the Efumi ceremony was developed, to reaffirm on an
annual basis their rejection of Christianity. After the last
Egami Village on Naru Island (Egami Church and its missionary within Japan had been martyred in 1644, the
Surroundings) (011). Naru Island is located in the central remaining Japanese Catholics could only continue their
part of the Goto Islands and is characterised by its faith by themselves in secret.
convoluted shoreline and steep ridges. Egami Village was
established on a narrow strip of land in a valley facing the Only in the middle of the 19th century were missionary
northwestern coast of the island. The Egami Church was activities reintroduced in Japan, where the faith still
built in 1918 on a reclaimed area of flat land on the southern remained forbidden to Japanese citizens. In 1854 Japan
side of this small valley, with funds collected from fishing for reopened its doors to Western countries at the request of
kibinago herring. The Egami Church is considered as the the United States of America. Nagasaki was one of the
best example in terms of design and structure among the ports opened for foreign trade and the first group of
wooden church buildings constructed in the Nagasaki missionaries began to construct the Oura Cathedral in
region from the 19th century onwards. Nagasaki Bay. Just after its dedication ceremony in 1865,
a group of Hidden Christians came to the cathedral and
Oura Cathedral (012) is located on a hill facing the Port of revealed their secret faith to the missionary of the cathedral.
Nagasaki in the south of the Nagasaki region. Its precincts This event came to be known as the 'Discovery of Hidden
contain the parish house, the church building that was Christians', following which Hidden Christian communities
initially built for the foreigners within the Nagasaki Foreign in the Nagasaki region entered a new phase.
Settlement, a seminary, and a catechist school (both of
which were established for missionary work after the lifting The Western trading partners made continuous protests to
of the ban on Christianity). Oura Cathedral was built in 1864 the Meiji government regarding the situation of Christianity
by missionaries who had come back to Japan after the in Japan, which led to the final lifting of the ban in 1873.
opening of the nation’s ports to foreign trade in the middle Consequently, Hidden Christians split into three groups: (1)
of the 19th century. It was dedicated to the Twenty-Six those who reaccepted Catholicism under the guidance of
Saints who had been martyred in Nagasaki in the the missionaries and re-joined the Catholic Church, (2)
16th century. Oura Cathedral is the site where the those who refused to submit to the authority of the
‘Discovery of Hidden Christians’ took place, bringing about missionaries and instead continued with their own practices
the new phase marking the transformation and subsequent nurtured during the lengthy period of the ban on Christianity
end of the distinctive religious tradition of the Hidden (this group was known as the Kakure Kirishitan), and (3)
Christian communities. those who decided to convert to Buddhism or Shinto,
leaving the Christian faith altogether after a long debate
History and development over whether to re-join Catholicism or not.
The 12 component sites were selected to reflect and
represent four consecutive periods in the introduction of
Christianity to Japan. The earliest of these starts in 1549, 3 Justification for inscription, integrity and
when the Jesuit priest Francis Xavier first reached authenticity
Kagoshima in Japan and took up Catholic missionary
activities. Several local feudal lords, aiming to gain profit Comparative analysis
from the exchanges and oversee trade, converted to The comparative analysis is presented in the nomination
Christianity and often genuinely embraced the new faith. dossier quite extensively in five categories: A) comparison
These lords came to be called the Kirishitan Daimyo, which with World Heritage properties, especially those directly
translates as the Christian feudal lords. Within their political associated with religious suppression; B) comparison of
domains, many citizens followed suit and embraced the histories of acceptance of Christianity in Asian countries;
new religion. When Japan was unified in 1587 by Toyotomi C) comparison with Hidden Christian sites throughout
Hideyoshi after lengthy feudal wars, on the occasion of his Japan (from the latter half of the 17th century to the first
triumphal return from battle he issued an edict expelling half of the 19th century); D) comparison with Hidden
missionaries from Japan. As a secondary move, he Christian villages in the Nagasaki region; E) comparison
prohibited Christianity altogether and seized Christian with Catholic churches built in villages in the Nagasaki
properties and territories.

115
region during the phase that followed the lifting of the ban Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
on Christianity. The nominated property is considered by the State Party
to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural
The initial global analysis (category A) considers that all property for the following reasons:
ten World Heritage properties used for comparison have
a different historical background to that of Nagasaki. Two • The nominated property bears unique testimony to
sites, ‘Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the history of people and their communities who
the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)’ in Lebanon, secretly transmitted their faith in Christianity during
inscribed under criteria (iii) and (iv), and ‘Göreme National the time of prohibition spanning more than two
Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia’ in Turkey, centuries in Japan, from the 17th to the 19th century.
inscribed under criteria (i), (iii), (v) and (vii), are identified • Hidden Christians gave rise to a distinctive religious
as having some similarities with the nominated property tradition that was seemingly vernacular yet which
in that Christians there also kept their faith whilst in hiding maintained the essence of Christianity, and they
from religious suppression. However, the State Party survived continuing their faith over the ensuing two
considers that the case of Nagasaki is essentially different centuries.
in that Christians there did not physically hide from the
outside world but were socially in hiding, meaning that ICOMOS considers that this justification is appropriate
they maintained their Christian faith whilst outwardly because the 12 sites do indeed reflect the earliest
behaving as Buddhists and Shinto practitioners. activities of Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan,
including the earliest phase of encounter, a subsequent
Regarding other Asian countries and their history of era of prohibition and persecution of the Christian faith
acceptance of Christianity (category B), the State Party and settlers, as well as the final phase of revitalization of
considers that only in Japan was the Christian faith Christian communities after the official lifting of the
passed down secretly through many generations in the prohibition.
complete absence of missionaries and despite a two-
century ban. Furthermore, Japan’s ban was much longer Integrity and authenticity
and more severe than any such ban in other Asian
countries. Concerning similar Christian sites within Japan Integrity
(category C), the comparative analysis supports the idea
that the Hidden Christian communities across Japan The property is proposed as representing completely, in
gradually became disorganised throughout the 12 serial component parts, the history and the continuity of
18th century due to the ban, remaining intact only in the the tradition of the Hidden Christians. In ICOMOS’ view, the
Nagasaki region. selection of components provides good coverage of the
four stages of the Hidden Christian period and the range of
With regards to all 214 Hidden Christian villages in the sites needed to illustrate the initial ban on Christianity,
Nagasaki region (category D), the comparative analysis different types of Hidden Christian worship and
indicates that the 10 areas included in the nominated development of different secret traditions, strategic
property are representative in terms of their contribution migration, and the responses of the Hidden Christian
to the proposed Outstanding Universal Value and the Communities once the ban on Christianity was lifted in
state of protective measures being implemented. Finally, 1873.
regarding the 73 Catholic churches in the Nagasaki region
(category E), the State Party considers that the Egami ICOMOS considers that ten components of the nominated
Church is a representative example in terms of duration property retain a high degree of visual integrity, both of
of the transitional phase of religious identity, authenticity, themselves and within their broader physical and visual
and protective measures in place. settings. Two components: the Remains of Hara Castle
(001) and Oura Cathedral (012) have been adversely
ICOMOS is of the view that the comparative analysis at affected by surrounding development. The impact on the
the global level is interesting and draws on a number of latter was exacerbated by the construction of a new
other suitably comparable serial nominations. Catholic Church on adjacent land in the 1970s. However,
Comparative studies at the global level (categories A and ICOMOS notes that the Cathedral building sits within a plot
B) and within Japan (comparison with items in categories that contains a grove of planted trees, which ameliorate the
C, D, E) and the selection process of the components are effects of the surrounding built-up area in close views and
logical and well conducted. The arguments establish most distant views. Overall, while the built-up areas around
clearly the difference between these and the Japanese Oura Cathedral do adversely affect its setting, the primary
case. The nominated property bears specific features that attribute of this component, which is the association with
justify its consideration for the World Heritage List. the revelation of Hidden Christianity in 1865, is not
jeopardised. The majority of the Hara Castle site remains
intact and in stable condition. However, ICOMOS’ technical
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis justifies
evaluation mission noted that there were some
consideration of this property for the World Heritage List.
inappropriate and intrusive elements at the southwestern
end of the proposed component boundary, including
industrial buildings and a large junior high school which

116
jeopardised the ‘intactness’ of the component. In the pews), and to protect the fabric (such as fire detection
additional information sent to ICOMOS on systems), but these do not fundamentally affect the design
28 February 2018, the State Party agreed with ICOMOS integrity. The relatively few residences remaining from the
recommendation and redefined the boundaries of the small Hidden Christian period have undergone substantial
area in the southwestern corner of the remains of Hara physical change and their value and contribution rests in
Castle by removing it from the core nominated area but their association rather than in integrity of form and design.
maintaining it within the buffer zone. The materials presented in the major buildings and
landscape structures of each component, including
In terms of the integrity of individual site components, churches, cemeteries, rice paddies, and archaeological
ICOMOS notes that houses within the component villages ruins, retain a high degree of authenticity.
show considerable variations. In some places, such as
Sakitsu Village and on Kuroshima Island, original houses ICOMOS notes that the property has continued in
remain, but have been substantially changed over time. traditional use and function over centuries as home,
There are programs in place to provide support for private workplace and sacred place for the local community,
owners to repair and re-clad original houses to provide including typical agricultural production, fishing, traditional
greater visual harmony with the surrounding village context. events and religious worship. The churches and many
It is likely that relatively little original building fabric remains shrines continue as places of worship. Important spiritual
from the Hidden Christian period. At other places, such as places, such as the site used for the Omizutori (holy water
Kasuga Village, and Nokubi and Funamori Villages on drawing) ceremony on Nakaenoshima Island, continue in
Nozaki Island, only foundations of houses that were use as places of worship; although some, (such as the
occupied by significant community leaders during the Zazare Church on Hisaka Island) are now derelict or
Hidden Christian period remain. demolished. A number of burial grounds remain in use. The
few remaining residences from the Hidden Christian period
An important attribute of the property is the retention of continue as residences and a few (at Sakitsu Village and
various collections of historic artefacts related to the Hidden Kasuga Village) continue to house venerated objects from
Christian period, some within private houses and others the Hidden Christian period.
within museums. The collections within museums (at Oura
Cathedral, Sakitsu Village and Shitsu Village) appear to be ICOMOS also notes, however, that over the last few
in good condition. ICOMOS notes that artefacts in private generations there has been a diminution and
ownership retain a high degree of historical context but are discontinuation of some of the Hidden Christian rituals,
not kept in climate-controlled environments and are at risk, especially those associated with the veneration of holy
owing to the passing of time and uncertainty about what objects. Nevertheless, the components of the property
may happen when current custodians are no longer able to retain a strong sense of spirit and feeling, evident in both
look after them. the places themselves and through the attitude of the local
people to whom they are important. Churches, shrines,
ICOMOS is of the view that each of the components of the some graveyards, agricultural lands and holy objects
property has a distinctive visual character created by the continue to be cared for by local people.
interplay between the physical and visual setting, coastal
scenery, forests, villages, agricultural lands and church ICOMOS considers that the conditions of integrity and
buildings. In the case of the villages, the continuing authenticity of the whole series have been justified; and
presence of actively-worshipping Christians, the continuing for individual sites, the conditions of integrity and
use of the agricultural lands and ongoing worship at shrines authenticity have been met.
and within church buildings are all important functions that
contribute to the Hidden Christian narrative. The
Criteria under which inscription is proposed
connection between the contemporary communities and
The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criterion
the places associated with Hidden Christian traditions is an
(iii).
important attribute of the property.
Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional
ICOMOS considers that the conditions of integrity of the testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is
whole series have been met and that the conditions of living or which has disappeared;
integrity of the individual sites that comprise the series
have been fully met for all site components. This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
that the nominated property is a unique testimony to the
history of people and their communities who secretly
Authenticity
transmitted their faith in Christianity during the time of
Overall, in ICOMOS’ view, the property retains a high prohibition spanning more than two centuries in Japan.
degree of authenticity, across a range of tangible and Located in very remote areas including small islands at
intangible attributes. The major built elements within the the westernmost edge of Japan, the property represents
property, including Oura Cathedral and the eight churches, how the Christian communities survived in the midst of the
retain a high degree of authenticity in their form and design conventional society and its religions, gradually
– both internally and externally. There have been changes transforming, ultimately ending their religious traditions
to facilitate continuing worship (such as the introduction of

117
and being assimilated into modern society after the typhoons (and consequent flooding) or earthquakes.
prohibition was lifted. Regional disaster prevention plans have been established
but the extreme remoteness of some of the serial
ICOMOS considers that the property does indeed components will increase difficulties in providing immediate
illustrate a distinctive religious tradition nurtured by the dedicated response action in case of natural disasters. The
Hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region while they area of Minamishimabara City, where the Remains of Hara
secretly continued their Christian faith during the ban on Castle (001) is located, could also be affected by landslides
Christianity. While the Hidden Christian story is one due to its construction on volcanic ash soil. This is a risk to
located solely within Japan, its wider dimensions – the the castle structures which are located on cliff and hill
endurance under dire circumstances of a tradition, the settings and accordingly require careful geological
resilience, fortitude and skills of those who adhered to it monitoring.
and managed to maintain it, displaying inventive ways of
so doing that illustrate how humans can shield and mask In the light of potential risks and threats from climate
meanings within the overt frameworks of existing cultures change and rising sea levels, ICOMOS requested in its
– speak to broader values and contexts. Interim report dated 22 December 2017, additional
information on the preparation of Seashore Management
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been justified for Plan. The State Party replied on 28 February 2018
the whole series. explaining that Nagasaki and Kumamoto Prefectures have
already instituted “Basic Plans for Coastal Preservation”
(the latest version is established in 2015) to address the
ICOMOS considers that the serial approach and the
risks of climate change and rising sea levels. ICOMOS
selection of site components is justified.
considers that the additional explanation provided by the
State Party is satisfactory.
ICOMOS considers that the nominated property meets
criterion (iii) and conditions of authenticity and integrity. Visitor numbers at all sites – with the exception of Oura
Cathedral – are very low at present but the provision of
Description of the attributes World Heritage status would likely increase interest and
The attributes are the village settlements, castle, houses, visitor numbers in these remote sites. Some of the sites in
cemeteries and graveyards, agricultural lands and ICOMOS’s view are fragile and may not be able to accept
landscapes, churches and places of secret worship, large numbers of visitors. The same applies to the
cherished and venerated objects, coastal scenery, communities which are in the process of diminishing and to
forests, topographical features of the settings (e.g. whom visitors could bring revenue but also considerable
mountains), relationship between sites and visual setting, impacts on modes of daily life, privacy, religious practice
continuing use of agricultural lands, and ongoing worship and atmosphere. ICOMOS requested further clarification in
at sacred places (e.g. shrines and within church its Interim report on the ‘carrying capacity’ and
buildings). management of potential tourism at the components of the
property having particular regard to the physical and social
circumstances of each component and potential limitations
4 Factors affecting the property imposed by factors such as parking areas, boat transport
and availability of local guides. The State Party responded
Given the remoteness of most serial components, there are that in the medium- to long-term strategy, analysis of the
carrying capacity of each component will be conducted,
currently few serious development pressures. The
environment of farming and fishing villages on remote and visitor management plans will be reviewed with regard
islands has experienced little development impact in the to the physical, cultural, and social circumstances of each
component. For the short term, in anticipation of a rush of
past, so that integrity of the sites is merely limited in terms
of industrial farming structures or inappropriate visitors just after inscription of the property on the World
neighbouring constructions, of still acceptable volume. Heritage List, local authorities are currently working on
training guides, establishing rest houses and visitor
Nevertheless, there have been some significant urban
development within the buffer zone and visual catchment of guidance facilities, expanding accommodation facilities,
Oura Cathedral, which is located within a heavily built-up and introducing new sea routes. ICOMOS considers that
the additional explanation from the State Party is
area of Nagasaki. ICOMOS considers that even in the case
of increasing development pressures, adequate provisions satisfactory. ICOMOS also notes that the visitor increases
are in place to allow for careful consideration of need to be attentively steered and monitored by the
responsible authorities as indicated in the Comprehensive
appropriateness and scale of each project within the
historic settings. Preservation and Management Plan for the property.

Of serious concern to ICOMOS is the gradual


The nomination dossier correctly identifies environmental
pressures as including air pollution, acid rain, marine litter abandonment of the villages by their inhabitants in a
and feral animals. ICOMOS notes that the remote region in process of economically-motivated migration towards
urban centres. In particular, economic difficulty among
which the property is located has, however, experienced
damage from natural disasters, which could potentially older citizens has become a pressing concern, which
occur in the future. These include uncontrolled fires, floods, affects the ability of the communities to act as custodians

118
of their heritage. In combination with the above-mentioned mining minerals or extracting soil and stones; and land
urban migration, the remoteness and small size of the reclamation by landfill or drainage. The above controls are
communities poses a risk factor in terms of future instituted in accordance with the Landscape Act, the
responsible visitation to the property. Natural Parks Act and other relevant legislation, and the
buffer zones are delineated for the sufficient range and/or
The decline of human resources available for ongoing extent to ensure the harmony of the nominated property
conservation and management also poses a potential risk with the surrounding environment, taking into account the
regarding the loss of memories. With the changing location and topography of each component.
demographics of local residents and an increasingly older
population, some of the rituals and memories which create In the case of Egami Village on Naru Island, ICOMOS’
these associations are no longer passing from generation evaluation mission revealed that there was a small
to generation. While the information itself can be recorded promontory to the west, which forms part of the visual
through oral history and other mechanisms, there is a setting of the proposed component and which is visible from
growing disconnection between the place and the stories of the Egami Church. ICOMOS requested the State Party to
the descendants of the Hidden Christians. ICOMOS consider amending the buffer zone of the Egami Village to
requested the State Party for additional information on the incorporate a highly-visible promontory area as a
strategies to mitigate the potential loss of memory amongst substantial development in this location would have
the custodians of the nominated property. The State Party potential to impact on Egami Village adversely. In the
answered that there is already a considerable collection of additional information sent to ICOMOS dated 28 February
folkloric, religious, and historical studies of the Hidden 2018, the State Party agreed to revise the delineation of the
Christians’ customs, practices, traditions, and other buffer zone of component 011 and provided the map
intangible features. Looking ahead to the future, efforts are illustrating the revised buffer zone.
being made to raise public awareness among local
residents through school education and lifelong education. In ICOMOS’ view, all buffer zones are regarded as
appropriately encompassing those areas within which it is
ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property important to maintain development controls in order to
are natural disasters, in particular storms, floods, protect the values of the nominated areas.
earthquakes and fires, as well as the risk of rural exodus,
loss of collective memory and over-visitation. ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the nominated
property and of its buffer zone are adequate.

5 Protection, conservation and Ownership


management The twelve components which comprise the nominated
property have diverse and multiple ownership, including
Boundaries of the nominated property land owned by the National government, the Nagasaki and
and buffer zone Kumamoto Prefectures, local government authorities,
The nominated property has a total area of 17, 721.77 ha, community groups and private owners. ICOMOS considers
which encompasses a property of 5,569.34 ha and a buffer that there are no issues arising from this diverse ownership,
zone of 12,152.43 ha. which reflects the nature of the nominated property. The
legal protection outlined below, in conjunction with financial
At the Remains of Hara Castle (component 001), a small assistance, plus community interest and initiatives, provide
section of lower ground at the southwestern corner of the an appropriate framework. It is apparent, from the
component included initially the industrial buildings and a consultation processes undertaken during the mission, that
large junior high school which jeopardised the ‘intactness’ free prior informed consent of affected property owners and
of this component. These boundaries of this component associated people has been retained as part of the
have been well-resolved as indicated above. ICOMOS nomination process.
considers that all component boundaries are regarded as
appropriate and reflective of the values of the nominated Protection
property. The legal framework which provides statutory protection
and management arrangements for the property is
The buffer zones for the components of the nominated established by national and regional legislation, including
property are defined by a combination of topographic particularly: The Law for the Protection of Cultural
features and defined to take in adjacent areas of seascape, Properties, The National Parks Act, Nagasaki City Planning
which is part of the visual catchment of the core nominated Act and Landscape Ordinances. The Comprehensive
areas. ICOMOS requested further clarification in its Interim Preservation and Management Plan provides extensive
report on practical justification for the delineation of buffer detail of the statutory protection mechanisms which apply
zones wherever these are marked in the sea. The State to core component areas and buffer zones, including
Party replied on 28 February 2018 explaining that the buffer details of the mechanisms under which decisions are made
zones have been set not only on land but also in the sea to at a local, prefectural or national level.
control development activities such as construction,
extension or reconstruction (fishing port facilities, etc.); Oura Cathedral is designated as a National Treasure and
Historic Site, the Remains of Hara Castle are designated

119
as a Historic Site and all of the other components, apart Nagasaki Prefecture, and is preserved in a museum of
from Ono Village, are designated as, or contained within, Nagasaki City. There are many other venerated artefacts
‘Important Cultural Landscapes’. Individual elements within without legal protection that are nonetheless held in
the components, including the major churches, are museums.
designated as ‘Important Cultural Property’. Parts of
Kasuga Village and its buffer zone and part of Nozaki Island ICOMOS notes that the property is well documented,
are afforded special zoning under the National Parks Act. through inventories, written descriptions, photographs and
Buffer zones for the Remains of Hara Castle and the island hardcopy records. Nevertheless, opportunities exist for
and village components are protected as Priority additional documentation, such as photogrammetric or
Landscape Planning Areas. Part of the Egami Village buffer Lidar recording (particularly the fabric of abandoned
zone is a fishing port. In the case of Oura Cathedral, the villages, churches and cemeteries and collapsed
buffer zone is partly within an Important Preservation structures), and oral history projects which record the
District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, totally within a beliefs and memories of current generations of local
scenic zone and protected by specific height controls. people. The Action Plan within the Comprehensive
ICOMOS’ technical evaluation mission noted that Ono Preservation and Management Plan identifies a number of
Village (component 006) was yet to be designated as an such projects.
‘Important Cultural Landscape’ under the provisions of the
Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties. ICOMOS ICOMOS requested the State Party for additional
requested further clarification in its Interim report on the information on the possibilities and mechanisms for
timeframe for the designation of Ono Village as an extending the financial assistance available to both
‘Important Cultural Landscape’. The State Party individual property owners and community groups to cover
responded that all procedures relating to the designation other aspects of heritage value such as
of this component as an Important Cultural Landscape vegetation/landscape management and interpretation. The
under the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties are State Party answered that National, prefectural and
completed on 13 February 2018. municipal subsidies are available for the maintenance,
management, restoration and other activities not only of
ICOMOS considers the additional information to be archaeological remains, historical structures and other
satisfactory and notes that the suite of statutory provisions elements that directly express the Outstanding Universal
provides appropriate and comprehensive protection. Value of the nominated property but also other attributes of
the components of the property that contribute to the
ICOMOS considers that the legal protection in place is Outstanding Universal Value. For example, financial
adequate. assistance is available for activities undertaken by
individuals and local communities in regard to the
maintenance and management of vegetation, the repair
Conservation
and landscaping of ordinary residences and churches, and
In ICOMOS’ view, the links between the attributes, such as
other forms of landscape maintenance and improvement.
churches, residences, cemeteries, villages, agricultural
lands, artefacts and other elements within the diverse
ICOMOS considers that these strategic planning tools for
components, with the narrative story of the Hidden
conservation are commendable and that active
Christians are very strong, despite the diversity in the
conservation measures implemented in the past years
physical condition of the elements within each component
seem largely adequate.
of the property.

Movable objects are an important attribute of the nominated ICOMOS considers that the conservation strategies are
property, as they were crucial elements in the continuation commendable and conservation activities undertaken are
of the Hidden Christian tradition for centuries. These largely adequate. ICOMOS further recommends that the
objects are well documented, and a number of them are fabric of abandoned villages, churches and cemeteries
curated, conserved and displayed in museums. However, within the property should be comprehensively achievably
others remain within private houses, for example at Sakitsu recorded, using photogrammetry, Lidar and/or other
and Kasuga Villages. ICOMOS considers that it would be similar techniques.
appropriate for these elements to undergo physical
conservation assessment (and any required remedial Management
action), and for consideration to be given to the long-term
conservation and management, if and when is no longer Management structures and processes,
possible for them to be retained and conserved in private including traditional management processes
ownership, and in their current locations. In this regard,
Management of the property is undertaken collaboratively,
ICOMOS requested further clarification in its Interim report.
by the Nagasaki Prefecture, the Kumamoto Prefecture and
The State Party responded that, in order to prevent
the local government agencies responsible for the
venerated artefacts becoming scattered and lost, the
individual components, as well as local community groups
locations of such artefacts have already been ascertained
and private owners. Day-to-day management rests with
and a basic list was produced thereof. One of these
local government authorities, community groups and
artefacts is subject to ‘legislative, regulatory, and
private owners. The detailed relationships and
institutional protection’ as a designated cultural property of

120
arrangements of stakeholders are set out in detail in the There are many opportunities provided for interpretation
Comprehensive Preservation and Management Plan. The and presentation of the Hidden Christian story and the
framework for implementing this Plan, comprises a World values of the components of the property. Visitors are
Heritage Preservation and Utilisation Council which works welcome at each component. In a number of cases,
in cooperation with the owners of the components and including the Remains of Hara Castle, and several villages,
other stakeholders. The Council is operated for the formal tours are provided by local people. There are a
appropriate protection, enhancement and utilisation of the number of walking tour brochures, both in villages such as
nominated property. The Council receives guidance from, Sakitsu and on some islands, including Kuroshima. Within
and consults with, experts comprising an academic the property itself, there are museum displays at Oura
committee (the Nagasaki World Heritage Academic Cathedral, Sakitsu and Shitsu Villages, and
Committee), as well as the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Kashiragashima Island. In addition to the museum and
which is the principal agency in charge of protection of visitor centre displays, there is some signage at the major
Japan’s cultural properties. churches, but relatively little other on-site interpretation is
provided. The lack of overt interpretive devices adds to the
The property benefits from a high degree of professional visual character and authenticity of the property.
expertise spread across staff in local and prefectural
governments, as well as access to a special Academic The components of the property have, at present, only
Committee, the World Heritage Council and Ministry for modest visitation related to the Hidden Christian story.
Cultural Affairs. Scientific Committees can be appointed at Whilst the number of visitors varies from component to
the local, prefectural or national level to provide access to component, tourism is low-key and only very seldom
expertise and expert advice. The Comprehensive exceeds 100 people a day. Whilst it is likely that visitation
Preservation and Management Plan provides for ongoing will increase, should inscription on the World Heritage List
capacity building, training and sharing of knowledge and occur, a number of factors already provide highly-effective
information. limits on tourist numbers. These include car parking
capacity in some of the villages, such as Kasuga, Sakitsu,
Policy framework: management plans and Shitsu and Ono Villages, inaccessibility of elements within
arrangements, including visitor management a number of components, such as abandoned villages and
and presentation graveyards, and the island context which requires access
by water. ICOMOS considers that it will be important that
The State Party, in conjunction with the Nagasaki and
increased tourism is pro-actively managed through
Kumamoto Prefecture Governments and local government
consideration of the ‘carrying capacity’ and management of
authorities, have prepared a Comprehensive Preservation
potential tourism at each individual component of the
and Management Plan for the property, which has been in
property. In this regard, ICOMOS requested additional
place since 2014. This Plan is extremely comprehensive
information on the State Party’s tourism approach and
and provides a values-based, logical framework for
strategy to allow visitors access to the site as well as an
understanding and managing the Outstanding Universal
understanding of all elements and places within the
Value of the property. The Comprehensive Preservation
components of the property that are part of the story of the
and Management Plan will operate in conjunction with an
Hidden Christians. The State Party responded that
extensive suite of preservation management plans, as well
information on visitor access to the site is managed
as enhancement and utilisation plans, which are already in
exclusively by “the Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki
place for a number of the components of the property.
Region Information Centre” and disseminated via the
Centre’s website and by other means. With regard to the
ICOMOS requested in its Interim report dated 22 December
story of the Hidden Christians, Nagasaki and Kumamoto
2017, additional information on the preparation of Seashore
Prefectures have instituted an “Interpretation Plan” and are
Management Plan. The State Party answered on 28
gradually developing tools for information dissemination.
February 2018 that in accordance with the Basic Policy for
Coastal Preservation instituted by the national government
Involvement of the local communities
based on the Coast Act, Nagasaki and Kumamoto
Prefectures have formulated Basic Plans for Coastal There has been a high degree of engagement with local
Preservation for their respective coastlines. These plans communities as part of the nomination process. During the
have been updated in every ten years, protection standards course of the ICOMOS evaluation mission, there were
have been determined based on the plans, and all many meetings with local community representatives,
necessary measures have been implemented taking into including direct consultation with individuals, all of whom
account of the result of survey on post-disaster and normal were well-aware of the nomination process and
state of the seashore. The seashore in Shitsu Village in implications of the potential inscription on the World
Sotome (Component 005), for example, is subject to Heritage List. Without exception, local people were strongly
measures including levees, revetments, and wave supportive of the nomination and it is very clear that full prior
dissipation works to prevent damage by high tides and informed consent of the affected local people, particularly
wave overtopping, designed based on tidal level + 1.90 m. those who have a direct association with the Hidden
ICOMOS considers the additional information to be Christian narrative, has taken place.
satisfactory.

121
ICOMOS considers that the management system is the conservation strategies are commendable and
overall effective and that the Comprehensive conservation activities undertaken are largely adequate.
Preservation and Management Plan is already being ICOMOS considers that the management system is overall
implemented. In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the effective and that the Comprehensive Preservation and
management system for the overall serial property is Management Plan is already being implemented. ICOMOS
adequate. considers that the monitoring indicators, administrative
arrangements, as well as frequency and responsibility, are
adequately developed.

6 Monitoring
8 Recommendations
The Comprehensive Preservation and Management Plan
provides a well-structured and detailed program for
Recommendations with respect to inscription
monitoring the state of conservation of the property,
ICOMOS recommends that the Hidden Christian Sites in
including specific indicators, frequency and cross-
the Nagasaki Region, Japan, be inscribed on the World
referencing to the location of records. This program brings
Heritage List on the basis of criterion (iii).
together individual monitoring programs which are already
in place for the majority of components. The program also
Recommended Statement of
includes forward-looking monitoring, having regard to the
Outstanding Universal Value
likely increase in visitation should inscription on the World
Heritage List occur. A schedule within the Comprehensive
Brief synthesis
Preservation and Management Plan clearly identifies
materials and documentation relating to monitoring of the Located in the Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures in the
property which has been previously prepared. northwestern part of Kyushu Island of the Japanese
Archipelago, the ‘Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki
ICOMOS considers that the monitoring indicators, Region’ is a serial property comprising 12 component sites,
administrative arrangements, as well as frequency and made up of ten villages, one castle, and one cathedral
responsibility, are adequately developed. dating from between the 17th and 19th centuries. Together
they reflect the earliest activities of Christian missionaries
ICOMOS considers that the monitoring indicators and and settlers in Japan, including the earliest phase of the
arrangements presented are adequate. encounter, a subsequent era of prohibition and persecution
of the Christian faith and settlers, as well as the final phase
of the revitalization of Christian communities after the
official lifting of the prohibition in 1873. Hidden Christians
7 Conclusions
survived as communities that formed small villages sited
along the seacoast or on remote islands to which Hidden
The property being nominated include 12 components
Christians migrated during the ban on Christianity. Hidden
serial nomination encompassing 10 villages, one castle,
Christians gave rise to a distinctive religious tradition that
and one cathedral dating from between the 17th and
was seemingly vernacular yet which maintained the
19th centuries. These sites bear testimony to an exceptional
essence of Christianity, and they survived continuing their
cultural tradition nurtured by Hidden Christians in the
faith over the ensuing two centuries.
Nagasaki region who secretly practised their faith despite a
ban on Christianity.
Criterion (iii): The Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki
Region bear unique testimony to a distinctive religious
ICOMOS considers that the comparative analysis justifies
tradition nurtured by Hidden Christians who secretly
consideration of this serial property “Hidden Christian Sites
transmitted their faith in Christianity during the time of
in the Nagasaki Region” for the World Heritage List; that the
prohibition spanning more than two centuries in Japan,
serial approach is justified and the selection of sites is
from the 17th to the 19th century.
appropriate. ICOMOS considers that the nominated
property meets criterion (iii) and conditions of authenticity
Integrity
and integrity.
The 12 components not only include all of the elements
ICOMOS considers that the main threats to the property are necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of
natural disasters, in particular storms, floods, earthquakes the property but are also of an adequate size and in a good
and fires, as well as the risk of rural exodus, loss of state of conservation. Thorough and complete protection
collective memory and over-visitation. ICOMOS considers measures have been taken for each of the components in
that the boundaries of the nominated property and of its accordance with all relevant national laws and regulations
buffer zone are adequate; legal protection in place is – including the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties.
adequate, and the protective measures for the property are Within the buffer zones of the nominated property,
adequate. ICOMOS recommends, however, that Ono appropriate protection is provided not only by the Law for
Village (component 006) should be designated as an the Protection of Cultural Properties but also by the
‘Important Cultural Landscape’ under the Law for the Landscape Act and other relevant laws and regulations.
Protection of Cultural Properties. ICOMOS considers that Therefore, the property does not suffer from any adverse

122
effects of development or neglect, and it has been d) Assessing new developments within the property in
effectively conserved together with its surrounding accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage
landscape. Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage
Properties (2011);
Authenticity

Each component of the property maintains a high degree


of authenticity based on the attributes selected according
to its nature. The villages possess a high degree of
authenticity based on their attributes of ‘form and design’,
‘use and function’, ‘traditions, techniques and management
systems’, ‘location and setting’, and ‘spirit and feeling’. The
component, ‘Remains of Hara Castle’, has lost its
authenticity related to ‘use and function’, as it is an
archaeological site, but it retains a high degree of
authenticity in regard to the other attributes. Oura Cathedral
and the Egami Church in Egami Village on Naru Island
possess a high degree of authenticity in terms of ‘materials
and substance’ in addition to the other attributes as they are
architectural works.

Requirements for Protection and Management

The property and its buffer zones are properly conserved


under various laws and regulations including the Law for
the Protection of Cultural Properties. Furthermore,
Nagasaki Prefecture, Kumamoto Prefecture and relevant
municipalities have formulated a robust Comprehensive
Preservation and Management Plan from the perspective
of safeguarding the Outstanding Universal Value of the
property as a whole. The framework for implementing this
plan comprises a World Heritage Preservation and
Utilisation Council which works in cooperation with the
owners of the components and other stakeholders. The
Council is operated for the appropriate protection,
enhancement and utilisation of the nominated property.
The Council receives guidance from, and consults with,
experts comprising an academic committee (the Nagasaki
World Heritage Academic Committee), as well as the
Agency for Cultural Affairs, which is the principal agency in
charge of protection of Japan’s cultural properties.

Additional recommendations
ICOMOS recommends that the State Party give
consideration to the following:

a) Recording and archiving the fabric of abandoned


villages, churches and cemeteries (such as those on
Hisaka and Nozaki Islands) within the property using
photogrammetry, Lidar and/or other similar
techniques,

b) Developing a communication strategy to inform local


community groups and individual owners about the
financial assistance which is available for
conservation projects from local, prefectural and
national government,

c) Undertaking a study on the ‘carrying capacity’ and


management of potential tourism at the components
of the property, having particular regard to the
physical and social circumstances constraints of each
component,

123
Map showing the location of the nominated properties
Hisaka Island

Kasuga village
Background
This is a new nomination.
Sansa, Buddhist Mountain
Monasteries in Korea Consultations
ICOMOS consulted several independent experts.
(Republic of Korea)
No 1562 Technical Evaluation Mission
An ICOMOS technical evaluation mission visited the
property from 10 to 17 September 2017.

Additional information received by ICOMOS


Official name as proposed by the State Party A letter was sent to the State Party on 5 October 2017
Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea requesting additional information on the selection of
components, specificities of Korean Buddhism and local
Location beliefs; development projects; concepts of restoration;
Yangsan City, Gyeongsangnam-do Province consultation with local communities; Heritage Impact
Yeongju City, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province Assessment processes; and the coordination of
Andong City, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province management between provincial and national
Boeun County, Chungcheongbuk-do Province government agencies.
Gongju City, Chungcheongnam-do Province
Suncheon City, Jeollanam-do Province An Interim Report was provided to the State Party on
Haenam County, Jeollanam-do Province 12 January 2018 summarising the issues identified by the
Republic of Korea ICOMOS World Heritage Panel. Further information was
requested in the Interim Report, including: further
Brief description clarification of the distinctiveness of Korean Buddhism;
Sansa are Buddhist mountain monasteries located selection of the components of the serial property; the
throughout the southern provinces of the Korean arguments based on ‘head temples’; expansion of the
Peninsula. Seven temples established in the 7th to comparative analysis; visitor pressure and carrying
9th centuries have been selected to represent these capacity; approvals processes for new works; and current
ancient and continuing centres of spiritual practice. The status of the 5-year Conservation and Management Plan
temples have historical associations with different schools and the Tourism Development Master Plan.
of Buddhist thought and contain many individually notable
historic structures, objects and documents, shrines and Consultation meetings occurred between ICOMOS and
halls. The spatial arrangements demonstrate common representatives of the State Party to discuss these issues
traits that are distinctive to Korea - the ‘madang’ (open on 23 November 2017 and 20 February 2018.
yard), surrounded by four buildings (Buddha Hall, pavilion,
lecture hall and dormitory), all set within their natural Additional information was received from the State Party
mountain topography. The mountain monasteries have on 6 November 2017 and 26 February 2018 and has been
survived to the present as living centres of faith and daily incorporated into the relevant sections of this evaluation
practice despite centuries of suppression during the report.
Joseon Dynasty, and the impacts of Japanese invasion in
the late 16th century. Date of ICOMOS approval of this report
14 March 2018
Category of property
In terms of categories of cultural property set out in Article I
of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a serial 2 The property
nomination of seven sites.
Description of the Serial Nomination
The nominated serial property comprises seven Buddhist
1 Basic data mountain monasteries which were established between the
7th to the 9th centuries in the Korean Peninsula. The
Included in the Tentative List selected components are associated with the Vinaya
12 December 2013 School, the Avatamsaka School, the Dharmalaksana
School and the Seon School, covering the major schools
International Assistance from the World Heritage of Mahayana Buddhism prevailing in the Korean
Fund for preparing the Nomination Peninsula.
None
The seven sites total 55.43ha and each is surrounded by a
Date received by the World Heritage Centre buffer zone. The State Party considers that the nominated
26 January 2017 temples demonstrate typical aspects of the architectural
layout of Korean Buddhist mountain monasteries, such as
the arrangement of buildings within the natural topography,

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and the spatial configuration of the ‘madang’ (open yard), Magoksa Temple (Hemp Valley Temple)
surrounded by four buildings (Buddha Hall, pavilion, lecture Founded in the late-9th century, Magoksa is a stronghold of
hall and dormitory). The nominated temples are located in Sakyamuni worship, and comprises an area of 3.91 ha, with
mountains, within relatively pristine natural settings. a buffer zone of 62.66 ha. There are two main areas,
separated by a stream. Repaired following damage in the
The temples and their specific elements are described in Japanese invasions of Korea, Magoksa Temple gained its
detail by the State Party, including maps showing the layout current spatial composition in the 18th century.
and surrounding topography. Within the seven nominated
components, there are 81 individually-designated heritage Seonamsa Temple (Immortal’s Rock Temple)
elements identified by the State Party. Founded in the late-9th century, this temple of the Seon
school comprises an area of 9.67 ha, with a buffer zone of
Tongdosa Temple (Temple of the Mastery of Truth) 246.16 ha. The temple is for the worship of Sakyamuni, and
This well-known temple is the centre of Vinaya Buddhism, contains four separate areas. Reconstructed several times
and comprises an area of 7.87 ha, with a buffer zone of following its destruction by the Japanese invasions of Korea
84.14 ha. The temple was founded in 646 by Vinaya Master and later fires, Seonamsa Temple gained its current spatial
Jajang who introduced the school to Korea. The spatial composition in the 19th century, and is a centre for monk
scale of the temple reached its current form in the education. Tea fields are located at the rear of the temple
17th century. Unlike the other nominated components, complex.
Tongdosa Temple does not enshrine an image of the
Buddha, because there are relics of the Buddha enshrined Daeheungsa Temple (Great Rise Temple)
in the Diamond Precept Platform. The temple has facilities Founded in the late-9th century, this temple of the Seon
for all three forms of monastic teaching (meditation, school for the worship of Sakyamuni comprises an area of
doctrinal study and monastic discipline) – and includes a 10.38 ha, with a buffer zone of 617.98 ha. It features the
Seon training centre, monastic academy and Vinaya 18th century Pyochungsa Hall, built to honour the Great
seminary. Each of the three main areas has its own Master Seosan who contributed to the defence against the
‘madang’ and main hall. Japanese invasions of the 16th century. Confucian and
Buddhist rites are held there. Daeheungsa Temple features
Buseoksa Temple (Floating Rock Temple) several Seon meditation centres and House of Maitreya,
Established in 676 by Great Master Uisang, patriarch of the and gained its current spatial composition in the
Hwaeom (Avatamsaka) school in Korea, Buseoksa is the 19th century.
historical and present day centre of worship of Amitabha. It
comprises an area of 7.08 ha, with a buffer zone of For each of the nominated components, the State Party
47.09 ha and features a series of terraces. It reached its describes a rich array of annual festivals, rites and
current form in the 9th century. The 13th century Hall of continuing spiritual practices at the temples, including
Infinite Life is one of the oldest buildings in Korea and an some that incorporate local belief systems (such as
important example of East Asian wooden architecture. shrines dedicated to the Mountain Spirit, longevity totems
associated with Taoism and Shamanism, buildings and
Bongjeongsa Temple (Phoenix Dwelling Temple) other elements that commemorate patriarchs, etc).
Established in 677 by Neungin, a disciple of the Great
Master Uisang, Bongjeongsa combines both Sakyamuni History and development
and Amitabha beliefs. It comprises an area of 5.30 ha, with The State Party has provided a detailed history of each of
a buffer zone of 75.05 ha. The temple reached its current the nominated components, including timelines that show
form in the 17th century when the Assembly of the Infinite major periods of new constructions and restorations.
Sea and the Pavilion of Eternity were built. The temple
features a Seon meditation hall and Avatamsaka Lecture Buddhism began in India and quickly spread across the
Hall. Constructed on terraces, Bongjeongsa Temple has Asian continent. It was introduced to Korea via China in
two main yards and two main halls that date to the 13th and the late 4th century. Initially Buddhist temples were built in
14th centuries. Vegetable gardens within the temple the city centres. In the 7th century, the Three Kingdoms of
grounds are cultivated by the monks and lay believers. Korea were united by Silla, and the first mountain
monasteries were established, founded by different
Beopjusa Temple (Dharma Abode Temple) schools of religious philosophy at Tongdosa, Buseoksa,
Founded in the mid-8th century by Vinaya Master Jinpyo Bongjeongsa and Beopjusa temples, and Buddhism
and his disciple Yeongsim, Beopjusa Temple comprises an became a religion of the masses. Seon Buddhism – which
area of 11.22 ha, with a buffer zone of 190.03 ha. Jinpyo places emphasis on self-realisation through meditation –
established the Korean Beopsang school, characterised by spread from China and through Korea in the 9th century,
repentance and belief in Maitreya. A large 20th century leading to the foundation of Magoksa, Seonamsa and
statue of Maitreya stands within the temple, along with Daeheungsa temples. Each of these monasteries has
some older associated stone features. Quickly restored operated since their establishment to the present day.
after its destruction in the Japanese invasions of Korea,
Boepjusa gained its current scale and composition in the The Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) designated Buddhism as
17th century, and demonstrates the close interactions a state religion, and the centralised governing system was
between the Joseon Dynasty royal court and Buddhism. based on both Confucian and Buddhist thought (including

125
both Seon and Gyo schools). Despite their origins in the well as the impacts of the Japanese Hideyoshi invasion of
Silla period, much of the architecture of the nominated Korea at the end of the 16th century. The monastic
components represents developments in the later Goryeo buildings and the reclusive contemplative and scholarly
and Joseon periods. vocations have remained substantially intact and in use to
the present. They have therefore witnessed the historical
During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) Confucianism evolution of the Buddhism in the Korean Peninsula.
was promoted as a ritual and symbolic means of asserting
the legitimacy of the court. Although many members of
the royal family, particularly women, were Buddhists, 3 Justification for inscription, integrity and
Buddhism was suppressed and the court ceased to authenticity
patronise monasteries. The number of monasteries and
their land assets were greatly reduced during the 15th and Comparative analysis
16th centuries, and mountain monasteries became the The comparative analysis has been presented by the
lifeblood of Korean Buddhism. State Party on two different levels. The first is to compare
Korean Buddhist mountain monasteries with other
Japanese invasions (1592-1598) severely damaged a Buddhist properties on the World Heritage List and
number of the mountain monasteries. In some cases, Tentative Lists; and the second aims to justify the
monks were instrumental in repelling the Japanese, selection of the seven nominated components from within
partially fueling a revival of Buddhism in Korea. The all of Korea’s extant Buddhist mountain monasteries.
damaged and destroyed temple structures were rebuilt These are briefly considered in turn below.
from the early 17th century.
Firstly, the State Party provided a table comparing the
The monastery education system became established in nominated property with 48 World Heritage properties that
Korea from the 18th century. The spatial layout of the are associated with Buddhism, plus several Tentative List
temples was altered (in part, to provide larger spaces for properties. Many of these are archaeological sites today,
Buddhist rituals); and some of the designated heritage and no longer function as religious facilities. Others
elements within the nominated components were built in represent different schools of Buddhism than the
this period. In the 19th century, the monasteries grew to Mahayana traditions of East Asia. As a result of these
even larger scales, and buildings evolved into more distinctions, the properties most directly comparable are
complex forms. found in mountainous areas of China, Japan and North
Korea, and also Vietnam and Central Asia. These are
Legends and narrative traditions associate six of the compared with the “Sansa” in more detail by the State
seven nominated monasteries with eminent monks of the Party, identifying distinctions in their histories, spatial and
Silla period of Korean history. Tongdosa was founded in locational arrangements, monastic traditions and the
646 by the Silla monk Jajang; and Buseoksa and influences of other faiths.
Bongjeongsa were founded by the Silla monk Uisang from
676. Both Jajang and Uisang were proponents of the ICOMOS notes that these east and southeast Asian
Avatamsaka school (known as Hwaeom in Korean), and Buddhist properties on the World Heritage List are located
evidence of the importance of this Avatamsaka tradition is in areas of natural beauty, where monastic structures
found at Buseoksa, Bongjeongsa, and Beopjusa temples. have been maintained for millennia and continue to
support active Buddhist practices. Mountain monasteries
Of the seven selected mountain monasteries, Tongdosa are common in Buddhism throughout the world: as noted
and Buseoksa are the most well-known and have the by the State Party, there are 785 in the Republic of Korea;
oldest structures. According to tradition, the Precepts and at Mount Wutai (China) alone there are 68
Platform at Tongdosa temple contains a relic of the monasteries located on 5 mountain tops. Although the
historical Buddha brought to Silla by Jajang as a gift from State Party has identified individual elements that relate
Tang China. Research by art historians, has shown that to local spiritual practices at each of the nominated
the current building was probably completed or at least temples, ICOMOS notes that, in many respects, the
significantly renovated during the Goryeo period. Korean sites exhibit less admixture with other religious
Buseoksa’s Hall of Infinite Life, constructed in the practices, such as Taoism in China or Shintoism in Japan.
13th century is the oldest extant wooden building in Korea,
and contains a molded clay image of the Buddha Additional Information provided by the State Party further
Amitaabha that probably dates from the late Silla period. extended the comparative analysis to include
Beopjusa contains a large multi-storey wooden pavilion consideration of sites in India, Myanmar and Pakistan.
which is the largest in Korea. Although more common in Some of these sites – such as components of the Ajanta
other parts of East Asia, there are few extant examples of Caves (India) are inscribed in the World Heritage List; and
this kind of architecture in Korea. others, such as Bagan in Myanmar are included in
Tentative Lists. The State Party has briefly explained the
The monasteries selected for the World Heritage different historical contexts, and the use of stupas and
nomination all trace their histories back to the earliest era other forms that characterise these additional
of Buddhism on the Korean Peninsula, and survived the comparisons.
suppression of Buddhism during the Joseon Dynasty as

126
ICOMOS acknowledges the enormity of the comparative ICOMOS also questioned the focus of the comparative
context for sites of Buddhist spiritual practice (according analysis and other aspects of this nomination on the
to various distinct schools and traditions). ICOMOS establishment of the ‘madang’ or central yard in the
considers that the comparative analysis has included the temple lay-outs, given that this feature is not only
most relevant comparisons, showing the contrasts and common, but virtually ubiquitous in Korean mountain
continuities across the wider geo-cultural region. monasteries.

For the second comparative analysis task, the State Party In response to questions raised by ICOMOS, the State
provided a table of 25 mountain monastery sites within Party clarified the reasons for the exclusion of some other
Korea to demonstrate the basis for the selection of the sites, which seemed potentially relevant to the proposed
seven nominated components. These 25 sites were Outstanding Universal Value. For example, ICOMOS
drawn from a total of 952 Buddhist Temples in Korea, of queried why the selection included one (Tongdosa), but
which 82% (or 785) are located in mountain areas. Of the not the other two (Haeinsa and Songgwangsa) of the well-
785 mountain monasteries, only 63 possess state- known Korean ‘Three-Jewel Monasteries’. The State
designated cultural properties (outstanding paintings, Party explained that Haeinsa (which is already inscribed
sculptures, buildings and literary works); and of these, on the World Heritage List) was excluded because its
only 25 were founded between the 7th to 9th centuries and primary significance is associated with the early Joseon
have sound sources of historical information about their period, and there are no reliable sources for its use in the
establishment and continuity to the present. Goryeo period; and while Songgwangsa originated in the
9th century, its primary significance as a temple developed
The State Party asserts that the seven selected temples later, in the 12th century. The State Party also explained
have maintained the ‘archetypes of Sansa’, while also that Ssanggyesa, Bongamsa and Sudeoksa were
responding to historical changes, and continuing to fulfil excluded on the basis of changes to their original
their religious functions. They differ from the others on the topography and lay-out of the central area of the temple.
list of 25 temples because they operate Seon meditation The State Party also explained that the temple at
centres and demonstrate integrity in relation to their Hwaeomsa was excluded on the basis of insufficient
spatial lay-out. The selected monasteries represent historical sources during the Goryeo and early Joseon
Mahayana Buddhism during its early development in periods.
Korea, including the Hwaeom, Beopsang, Gyeyul and
Seon schools. Finally, questions arise about the inclusion of some of the
selected temples. Bongjeongsa has a smaller scale than
Questions about the selection of the components have the other six components and cannot be considered to be
been a focus of exchanges with the State Party and have a ‘comprehensive monastery’. In terms of their historical
been the key issue of concern for ICOMOS. The significance, Bongjeongsa, Magoksa, and Seonamsa are
Additional Information provided by the State Party weaker.
clarified the characteristics used for the selection of the
components: mountain locations, designation as a In summary, ICOMOS considers that the additional
traditional temple in national law, possession of state- information provided by the State Party has clearly
designated cultural properties, establishment in 7th to explained its selection processes, and has assisted in
9th centuries, continuing Seon meditation centres, better understanding the rationale of the serial
credible sources for history, intact lay-out of central nomination. However, ICOMOS considers that the
temple areas, and site-specific issues of authenticity and justification for the seven components has not been
integrity. In a number of cases, temples were excluded by strongly established in all cases.
the State Party on the basis of changes and losses of
elements that occurred in the 20th century. ICOMOS ICOMOS considers that comparative analysis of other
considers that these characteristics are pertinent, but that World Heritage properties in Asia supports the potential
they do not clearly address the proposed criteria for for Korean Buddhist mountain monasteries to be included
inclusion in the World Heritage List. in the World Heritage List. However, ICOMOS considers
that the comparative analysis of Buddhist monasteries
Additional information provided by the State Party has within Korea has not justified the inclusion of all seven of
also clarified the justification of the inclusion of each of the the selected components in relation to the proposed
seven components, based for the most part on their Outstanding Universal Value.
historical specificities. The State Party has also explained
that the distribution of the seven components in different
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
parts of the Republic of Korea demonstrates their
The nominated property is considered by the State Party
distribution throughout the country. In discussions with the
to be of Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural
ICOMOS Panel, the State Party representatives
property for the following reasons:
suggested that the role of the seven components as ‘head
temples’ was also a factor. ICOMOS did not consider this
• Together the seven nominated components
to be a convincing argument or consistently applied; and
typologically epitomise the openness and spatial
the State Party has subsequently confirmed that this is not
layout of Korean Buddhist mountain temples, and
a key factor in the selection.

127
their historical and continuing purposes as centres Integrity and authenticity
of belief, spiritual practice and daily life for
monastic communities; Integrity
• The nominated Buddhist mountain monasteries
The integrity of the serial nomination is presented on two
illustrate various schools of Mahayana Buddhism,
levels. The first argues that the inclusion of seven temples
which was introduced to Korea from China from
ensures the ability of the serial property to convey its
the 7th to 9th centuries;
Outstanding Universal Value; and the second discusses
• Due to their remote locations, Korean Buddhist
the integrity of the individual temples included in the
mountain monasteries were able to survive the
nomination.
policies of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) when
the emphasis on Confucianism caused the
On the second measure, the material presented by the
closure of most urban temples, further enhancing
State Party in the nomination dossier is comprehensive
the role of mountain monasteries within Korean
and demonstrates that the requirements of integrity are
Buddhism;
met for each of the individual temple components. In each
• The selected components demonstrate diverse case the important elements are present within the
local cultural influences, traditions and practices;
nominated boundary: they exhibit a good state of
• The seven monasteries are found within three conservation, are protected and relatively free from
typological geographical contexts in their broader threats. Religious practices are continuing, and the
mountain settings: valley bottom, slope and temple structures are well-preserved.
streamside.
The first measure – concerning the justification of the
The serial approach is justified by the State Party in order selection of the components – is more complex, as
to represent the most significant characteristics of the discussed above. The seven nominated sites are
Buddhist mountain monasteries. These include variations considered by the State Party to be the most outstanding
in the spatial patterns, settings and distribution of examples. Accordingly, the State Party considers that the
functions, the diversity of the schools of Buddhism and the seven components contain all the elements necessary to
incorporation of local beliefs. express the Outstanding Universal Value of Korean
Buddhist mountain monasteries, including well-preserved
ICOMOS considers that the distinctive expression of buildings for religious practice and daily living, worship
Korean Buddhism could be articulated for the purposes of halls and shrines, meditation areas, monastic academy
the World Heritage List, but that the initial reasons put spaces and dormitories for monks. The settings of the
forward by the State Party were not well defined. ICOMOS monasteries are also important, and few pressures
did not find the arguments about the distinctiveness of the threaten them. The selected components are intact, free
spatial layout and ‘madang’ (rectangular yard) to be of major losses and alterations during the modern period,
convincing because these are relatively common and retain their original functions, despite obvious
characteristics in Korea and elsewhere. Similarly, the changes through history.
arguments made concerning the geographical contexts
are not a sufficient basis for the development of a ICOMOS considers that the seven selected components
typology; and while the documentation of the include some of the best preserved and most influential of
incorporation of local beliefs into the temples is of interest, Korea’s Buddhist monasteries, and their national
ICOMOS does not consider that this is a basis for significance is evident. They demonstrate the historical
demonstrating Outstanding Universal Value. and contemporary importance of Buddhism in Korea,
continuing spiritual practices, and illustrate both common
Based on the dialogue with the State Party during the and distinct facets across the many extant temples.
course of the evaluation and the additional information However, ICOMOS considers that this aspect of the
provided, ICOMOS concludes that the potential requirements of integrity is not yet demonstrated for the
Outstanding Universal Value of the nominated serial entirety of the proposed series due to the issues
property rests on the specific intangible and historical summarised above. Although the rationale for the
aspects of Korean Buddhism. These relate to the long selection has been clearly explained by the State Party, it
time-depth, continuity and survival of the mountain is weakly associated with the proposed criteria and
monasteries, and the ways in which historical legacies are Outstanding Universal Value.
reflected in temple management, and continuing
traditions such as daily routines, education of monks,
The conditions of integrity of the individual components
Seon meditative practices and doctrinal study. The spatial
have been met; however, ICOMOS considers that the
arrangements and elements within the monasteries
conditions of integrity of the series is justified only for
reflect these, and also the requirements for the self-
some of the components.
reliance of the monastic communities.

128
Authenticity Criterion (iv): be an outstanding example of a type of
building, architectural or technological ensemble or
The authenticity of the nominated property is based on the
landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in
long and continuing uses of the components for Buddhist
human history;
spiritual practices and rituals. The State Party asserts that
authenticity is demonstrated through the dimensions of This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds
their use and function; location and setting; traditions, that the group of monasteries demonstrate the spatial lay-
techniques and management skills; and intangible out types of Korean Buddhist mountain monasteries,
heritage. The architecture within the monasteries has adapted to specific natural features. These typically
been carefully maintained according to strict principles of contain a range of common buildings and spaces for
repair and restoration, using traditional construction rituals, spiritual practices and daily life, organised around
techniques, particularly for the major wooden architectural ‘madang’ or open yard. The seven components are
elements. Licensed experts and Cultural Heritage Repair categorised by the State Party according to the
Engineers and Technicians undertake this work under the characteristics of their locations.
supervision of the Cultural Heritage Administration.
ICOMOS notes the detailed descriptions of the spatial
The religious traditions and functions of the Buddhist characteristics of the seven mountain monasteries.
temples maintain a high degree of authenticity. The major However, ICOMOS considers that the method for
religious facilities include the Buddhist worship halls, the presenting the selection of the components does not set
‘madang’ (yards), the memorial halls of the founders, out a typological understanding of Korean Buddhist
pagodas and some ancillary facilities. These demonstrate mountain monasteries, and the selection of the seven
their original form, layout and design, despite historical temples. ICOMOS considers that the emphasis by the
changes to accommodate changes in Buddhist practices State Party on the spatial feature of the ‘madang’ in
over time. Korean Sansa does not provide a sufficient typological
basis for the application of this criterion; nor does the
The reconstructions of the 17th century used traditional consideration of the differences in the topographic
materials and techniques, and ICOMOS considers that setting/location of each of the selected temples.
these are consistent with the requirements of authenticity.
As the nominated temples are all in use, the monks' daily ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been
living facilities and ancillary structures are subject to demonstrated.
changes to meet different functions. Furthermore, the
functions of some buildings have changed to support
ICOMOS considers that the serial approach is supported,
other modern-day operations of the temples, such as
but that the selection of the seven components has not
offices and shops.
been fully justified.

ICOMOS considers that the conditions of authenticity of


the individual sites that comprise the series have been ICOMOS considers that the nominated components meet
met. the requirements of integrity and authenticity, and that
criterion (iii) has been demonstrated for four of the seven
nominated components (Tongdosa, Buseoksa, Beopjusa,
Criteria under which inscription is proposed
Daeheungsa).
The property is nominated on the basis of cultural criteria
(iii) and (iv).
Description of the attributes
The attributes of the property are the four temples
Criterion (iii): bear a unique or at least exceptional
(Tongdosa, Buseoksa, Beopjusa, Daeheungsa) and their
testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilisation which is
natural settings, including: historical temple structures,
living or which has disappeared;
elements and spaces; topography and temple lay-out;
This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds living quarters, gardens that support the daily routines of
that the monasteries are sacred places and provide an the monks and laity; spaces and structures for Buddhist
exceptional testimony to their long and continuing education and meditative practices; and the continuing
traditions of Buddhist spiritual practice. spiritual practices and religious functions.

ICOMOS considers that Buddhism has a long history that


has traversed a number of historical eras in the Korean 4 Factors affecting the property
Peninsula, and that the mountain monasteries offer a
distinctively Korean instantiation of Buddhist monastic Because of the remote locations of the nominated
culture from the 7th century to the present day. components, there are few pressures identified by the State
Party. Very few people live in or near to the nominated
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has been temples, and most inhabitants of the nominated
demonstrated for four of the seven nominated components are monks and caretakers. Similarly, within
components (Tongdosa, Buseoksa, Beopjusa, the buffer zones, inhabitants are predominantly monks.
Daeheungsa).

129
The nominated components have rarely been affected by current standards have been in place since December
natural disasters. Forest fire is the major threat, and there 2009.
are fire detection/suppression systems and training in
place. Termites are also a potential threat to the timber The State Party suggests that there is minimal visitor
structures, and systematic monitoring is undertaken. Pine pressure at the seven nominated components, but that this
wilt disease affects some forest areas and is actively is expected to increase following World Heritage inscription.
managed. These arrangements are detailed in the site- Visitor numbers are provided in the nomination dossier, and
based Conservation Management Plans. range between 73,035 per year for Bongjeongsa Temple
and 621,259 per year for Tongdosa Temple.
The component sites are not subject to development
pressure. ICOMOS notes that some historical elements Carrying capacity has been calculated for each nominated
within the nominated components have been converted to component based on assumptions of the amount of space
new uses, such as the Pavilion of Eternity (Tongdosa per person, and forms the basis of the visitor management
Temple), converted to a souvenir shop; the Avatamsaka arrangements. Entry by visitors is restricted to the Seon
Lecture Hall (Bongjeongsa Temple), converted to an training centres and residential areas of the monks in order
office; and the House of Sword Seekers (Magoksa to safeguard the qualities of spaces for meditation and
Temple), partly converted to an office. private activities. While carrying capacity is currently well-
managed, ICOMOS notes that there are peak periods for
There are various new facilities for public access and visitation, and that further measures to manage congestion
interpretation located outside the component boundaries. could be needed in order to maintain an appropriate
For example, the Temple Stay of the Beopjusa Temple atmosphere within these sites.
has been built according to traditional building scale and
form, and is located across the stream from the Temple, ICOMOS considers that the main threat to the property is
with no visual impact. The Tea Gardens in the buffer zone forest fire. Tourism growth could create pressures in the
of the Seonamsa Temple are separated from the temples future. ICOMOS considers that new building construction
by the mountain ranges, and have no impact upon the projects within the temple complexes could have a
temple landscape. The temple museums are generally potential impact on the proposed Outstanding Universal
located close to the nominated areas but are not within Value of the nominated series.
their visual catchments.

ICOMOS notes that some intrusive elements have been


5 Protection, conservation and
removed from some of the nominated components and
their buffer zones in the past, such as illegal buildings and management
a large signal antenna.
Boundaries of the nominated property
The State Party recognises that, in order to support their and buffer zone
continuing uses, new facilities and modernisation works are The boundaries of each of the nominated components are
needed from time to time for the accommodation and other based on roads, valleys, streams and mountain slopes that
facilities used by the monastic community. Additional adjoin the temple sites. Most nominated components
information provided by the State Party explained that there include small sections of streams (other than Buseoksa
are plans to build new structures at Magoksa Temple (to Temple). In some cases, archaeological research has
replace temporary shower facilities used by the monks); assisted in confirming the boundaries. While the
Daeheungsa Temple (a new one-storey building to mountains themselves are considered important for
symbolise the temple’s historical role in national defence); understanding the characteristics of the nominated sites,
and Beopjusa Temple (following current archaeological the settings are not included within the boundaries.
excavations to reveal the original position of the Sarira
Pavilion, a new building may be constructed). Such projects ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the nominated
are strictly regulated by the provisions of the Cultural components are appropriate. All significant elements are
Heritage Protection Act. ICOMOS recognises that facilities included within the boundaries, including the facilities
for worship and the everyday routines of the monks are needed for religious activities and to support the daily lives
important to the continuing spiritual uses of the nominated of the monks.
components, but considers that more guidance should be
provided about future changes. Each component is surrounded by a buffer zone based on
the visual setting and following topographical
There is a village located in the buffer zone for Buseoksa characteristics such as mountain ridges. The buffer zones
Temple, which is not visible from the temple. Building include the terrain and vegetation around the temples,
heights in the village are limited to one storey. The providing necessary protection for the environment and
processes for establishing the Standards for Permissible landscapes associated with the nominated property.
Alteration within the Cultural Heritage Protection Act
require consultation with local residents. According to the The nominated components and their buffer zones are
additional information provided by the State Party, the protected through the provisions of the Cultural Heritage
Protection Act.

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ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the nominated Assessment Act, as well as various local and provincial
property components and their buffer zones are ordinances for conservation and management of World
appropriate. Heritage.

Ownership ICOMOS considers that the legal protection in place is


The land within each nominated temple is owned by the adequate.
temple community, and the relevant streams and roads are
owned by the state. There are small elements in private Conservation
ownership within the boundaries of Buseoksa Temple and The nominated property components have been
Bongjeongsa Temple (amounting to 0.36 ha and 0.43 ha extensively documented and inventoried for the purposes
respectively), which are a small section of road and a of assessing their state of conservation and monitoring.
forested land parcel. The State Party has indicated its The management offices of each temple keep the original
intentions to purchase these land parcels in the medium- to records of the temple buildings, and reports on historical
long-term. studies, surveys and repairs. These records provide a
sound basis for academic research, repair, maintenance,
The land within the buffer zones reflects a similar pattern of protection, management and interpretation of the
land ownership, with most owned by the temples temples. Maintenance includes the regular repair and
themselves. Some private ownership exists in the buffer replacement of elements of wooden structures. In
zones for Tongdosa Temple (0.23 ha), Buseoksa Temple general, principles of minimal intervention, re-use of
(16.05 ha), Bongjeongsa Temple (12.46 ha) and Magoksa existing materials and restoration based on careful
Temple (3.29 ha). All of these are within Historic and investigation and research are applied.
Cultural Environment Protection Areas under the Cultural
Heritage Protection Act, with strict controls on development As part of Seon practice, monks carry out daily
activities. maintenance of the temples and ritual facilities under the
supervision of the Chief Abbot of each temple; and the
Protection Laity Associations of the temples organise volunteers to
The nominated components are all designated as Historic carry out regular cleaning inside and around the temple.
Sites under the Cultural Heritage Protection Act; and under The State Party’s cultural heritage research institutions
City/Provincial Government Cultural Heritage Protection have implemented routine maintenance and repair of the
Ordinances. Modern constructions to facilitate continuing heritage elements identified in the temples in accordance
use and developments around the temples are strictly with the principles outlined in the Cultural Heritage
controlled. Protection Act.

Each temple has a number of elements that are designated ICOMOS considers that the nominated components
as State-designated heritage (National Treasure, Treasure, exhibit a good state of conservation.
Historic Site or Scenic Site); or City/Province-designated
heritage (Tangible Cultural Heritage, Folklore Heritage,
Management
Cultural Heritage Material or Monument). The nomination
dossier outlines the designation status of elements within
Management structures and processes,
each component.
including traditional management processes

The Cultural Heritage Protection Act also provides for the The components of the nominated property are managed
designation of Cultural Heritage Zones and Historical and through a series of government and community structures
Cultural Environment Protection Zones. These are in place that operate at the national, provincial and local levels.
for each of the nominated components and their buffer
zones. The Cultural Heritage Protection Act applies within The ‘Council for Inscription of Buddhist Mountain
areas of 500-metres of the outer boundary of each Cultural Monasteries in Korea on the World Heritage List’ was
Heritage Zone. Heritage Impact Assessments are prepared established through a Memorandum of Understanding in
within the provisions of the Cultural Heritage Protection Act, 2014 to develop the World Heritage nomination. The
and are submitted to state and provincial cultural heritage Council has been responsible for formulating
committees during development decision-making conservation management plans and coordinating the
processes. protection, management, presentation and research of
the nominated components. The Council has identified
All of the nominated components are also protected by the the specific responsibilities for the key organisations
Korean Traditional Temples Preservation and Support Act involved, including: religious organisations and chief
which legally protects the temples (including elements not abbots; the World Heritage Division of the Cultural
designated by the Cultural Heritage Protection Act). This Heritage Administration; the Office of Religious Affairs of
provides for the transmission of cultural heritage and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Cultural
cultural events. A number of further legal provisions are Heritage Divisions or the Cultural and Art Divisions of the
applicable to aspects of the protection and management provincial and municipal governments. A Steering
of the nominated components including: the Landscape Committee for the Council includes the heads of the
Act, Natural Parks Act, and Environmental Impact 12 provincial/local governments, supported by a

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Secretariat, an Executive Committee, Administrative elements of the nominated components, disaster
Committee, Advisory Committee and an Experts prevention facilities, and enhanced support for Buddhist
Committee. There are 59 staff that work directly for the cultural heritage. Together the national and provincial
Council in addition to the monks, temple management plans provide the basis for the allocation of financial
staff, cultural heritage management staff and cultural resources.
tourism guides that work for the individual temples.
Cultural Heritage Maintenance Plans are established by
Should the nominated serial property be inscribed in the the Cultural Heritage Administration. For most World
World Heritage List, the Council will become ‘Sansa Heritage sites, these are drawn up for a period of 6 years.
Conservation and Management’, taking responsibility for Currently two of the seven nominated components have
the coordination and overall conservation strategy. A Cultural Heritage Maintenance Plans in place – Buseoksa
detailed structure of roles and responsibilities has been Temple and Seonamsa Temple. The State Party has
provided, along with a proposal for 40 staff for advised that these will be prepared for the remaining five
administration, conservation management, monitoring, components following their possible inscription in the
research and promotion. World Heritage List from 2018-2020.

Traditional management is a strong factor for the Various national and provincial/city plans for land use are
nominated components. Each temple is under the also of relevance to the management of the nominated
responsibility of a chief abbot. The Cultural Affairs components.
Department of the Administrative Headquarters of the
Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism is responsible for the The State Party has developed the ‘Conservation and
management of cultural heritage, and the development Management Plan for Sansa, Buddhist Monasteries in
and implementation of related projects. The Office of each Korea’ which provides for coordination between the
temple is responsible for the daily monitoring and different organisations and levels of government and
management. While these offices are part of the temple, community decision-making. Financial resources, risk
the salaries of the staff are provided by the Cultural preparedness, tourism and promotion, research and
Heritage Administration. The Laity Association of each monitoring are included.
temple participates in volunteer work to support Buddhist
practices, maintaining the temple landscapes and The Management Plan is complemented by individual
cleaning the temples. plans for each temple that have been prepared by the
Council for the Inscription of Buddhist Mountain
Funding for protection, maintenance and repairs to the Monasteries in Korea on the World Heritage List. These
temples and associated elements is derived from state comprehensively detail the management and
allocations (70%), provincial government sources (15%) conservation policies, including maintenance of wooden
and from local government (15%). In the period between buildings and stone artefacts, landscape management
2014-2016, a total budget of US$22.07 million was issues, disaster prevention and tourism management.
provided for the conservation and management of the
seven components of the nominated property, and the Work on the nominated components must be carried out
State Party has estimated that a budget of US$32.5 million by people certified by the Cultural Heritage Administration